Smartphone Storage: 32GB microSD Memory Cards Expected This Spring
Smartphone-users and other gadget-heads looking to expand their devices' maximum storage will soon be able to buy 32GB cards.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
You can never have too much smartphone-storage space.
I keep a loaded 16GB microSD card, the largest capacity microSD on the market, in my BlackBerry at all times and another 16GB backup packed with different music and video in my wallet. And I still find myself frequently cursing out my lack of storage capacity.
That’s why I was particularly pleased to learn that memory-maker Samsung plans to release 32GB microSD cards in the coming months.
Samsung says its 32GB flash microSD card, “[t]he industry’s highest capacity, production-ready microSD card,” will enter mass-production this month, and the cards will presumably ship shortly thereafter in March or April.
SanDisk, another leading memory-producer, said last February that it was starting production on 32GB microSDs, but the company hasn’t made any related announcements since. However, I did recently spot 32GB SanDisk microSDHC memory cards listed for pre-sale online…for $199.99 each.
That’s pricey, to put it lightly. Especially when you consider that 16GB cards can now be easily found for less than $50 each on sites like Amazon.com. Those 32GB cards are also “class 2” microSDs, and cards with higher “classes,” which allow for speedier data transfer speeds, will be even more expensive. But those prices are sure to drop rapidly as additional memory-makers release comparable offerings and 32GB microSDs become more common
I’m unsure exactly when SanDisk will release its 32GB microSD cards, but that day can’t be too far off. SanDisk is often first to market with new, higher-capacity cards. I also spoke with Kingston, another flash-memory maker, at CTIA last spring, and I was told to expect 32GB cards from that company in 2010, as well.
You should refer to your handheld’s user guide or online product literature to determine if you’ll be able to take advantage of the new cards. For BlackBerry users: Any BlackBerry device running Research In Motion’s (RIM) handheld OS v4.6.0 or higher supports microSD memory cards up to 32GB, according to the BlackBerry-maker.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.