RumorMill: Better Memory Sticks in January

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Earlier this year, Sony released an outline of its plans for increasing the Storage capacity of its Memory Sticks over the next several years. This showed that the company is planning to release Memory Sticks in sizes up to 1 GB in the near future.

According to CNet, Sony will announce 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB Memory Sticks at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. Even better, these will transfer data more quickly than current ones. However, in order to obtain this increased capacity and speed, Sony has had to change the way they work. This means that not all current devices will be able to use the new Memory Sticks.

CNet is crediting this information to unnamed sources and a Sony spokesperson vehemently denies that it is true. According to him, when the actual details come out, the CNet article will look “foolish”.

The Competition

Sony is facing stiff competition from several other flash memory card formats. In the handheld arena, probably its biggest competitor is the SD/MMC format, which is used by many models from Palm, all Pocket PC handhelds, and others. There are already 512MB SD cards available, while the largest Memory Stick is 128 MB.

In October, Matsushita (Panasonic) announced that it had developed a 1 GB SD card prototype but the company said it would be about a year before the new card was available for purchase because it is currently too expensive to make.

Sony’s roadmap for the Memory Stick also has it releasing a 2 GB card next year and a 4 GB the year after. Matsushita says it also plans to release 2 GB SD card in 2004 and eventually work its way up to 16 GB cards.

Thanks to robrecht for the tip.

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