SanDisk queues up 1GB mini memory card for $100

The move underscores a trend of dramatic price declines in the market for memory cards. And prices will keep plummeting, an analyst says.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
2 min read
Underscoring the dramatic price drops in the market for memory cards, flash memory specialist SanDisk said Monday that it will sell a 1GB mini SD card for $100.

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SanDisk SD flash card
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The 1GB removable card has double the capacity of the current largest-capacity mini SD cards on the market. These products typically are used in mobile phones, digital cameras and music players. Mini SD cards are smaller versions of postage stamp-size Secure Digital cards.

The 1GB SanDisk card will be able to store about 16 hours of songs or more than 2,000 digital images, according to the company. It will also come with an adapter allowing it to be used with Secure Digital card devices.

The 1GB mini SD card will cost roughly 10 cents per megabyte, which is a drastically lower rate than in 2003, when the average cost for NAND flash--one of two types of solid-state-memory technologies that prevent skipping--was 20 cents, according to research company Gartner.

SanDisk's new card will be available in the second quarter, which is typically the weakest when it comes to demand. Combined with an overabundance of memory in the market, lower prices aren't a big surprise, and more drops are expected.

Specifically, the average selling price of flash memory is likely to fall to 5 cents per megabyte by the end of this year and continue to drop so that by 2009, it will be less than a penny, said Joseph Unsworth, a Gartner analyst.

"The word you're looking for is 'commodity,'" Unsworth said. "Consumers will be getting more capacity for the money, and we'll see flash memory in more applications at lower prices. The iPod Shuffle is a great example."

Just five years ago, flash memory cost about $1.13 per megabyte.