Tech Industry

SanDisk beefs up Memory Stick Pro

The removable flash memory maker is doubling the capacity of Memory Stick Pro cards and expects pricing to fall more in line with competing Secure Digital cards.

LAS VEGAS--SanDisk is doubling the capacity of Memory Stick Pro cards and expects pricing to fall more in line with competing Secure Digital cards.

The removable flash memory maker announced Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show that it will begin selling a 2GB Memory Stick Pro card next month. The company teamed with Sony to manufacture and develop the Memory Stick Pro format and will begin to manufacture the cards itself in the first quarter. Currently, Sony makes the cards, with distributors such as SanDisk and Lexar Media rebranding the cards and selling them through their retailers.

"SanDisk will start manufacturing the cards, which should help to lower the costs for consumers and bring them in-line with the Secure Digital format," said Nelson Chan, senior vice president of SanDisk.

The market for removable flash memory cards has been growing dramatically, as sales of devices that use the media, such as digital cameras and cell phones, have taken off.

Memory Stick and Secure Digital are the dominant next-generation removable flash memory card formats gradually replacing older formats, such as SmartMedia and CompactFlash. Retail store sales tracker NPD Techworld recently said sales of Secure Digital cards overtook CompactFlash as the top format, in terms of market share for removable flash memory cards.

SanDisk will also sell Memory Stick Pro Duo cards, which are roughly half the size of Memory Stick Pro cards, beginning in the first quarter. The company will sell 256MB cards for about $105 and 512MB cards for about $225.

SanDisk also announced the $200 512MB Cruzer Titanium--a USB flash storage device--which the company says is indestructible. The device will be available this month.

SanDisk is also selling a Cruzer Mini USB drive in a 1GB capacity and a companion MP3 player.