Secure Digital (SD) Memory Cards captured almost a quarter of the sector's approximate $81m in US retail sales in January and February, overtaking Sony's Memory Stick for the first time, analysts have reported.
Consumer demand for higher capacity and faster access removable media propelled the SD cards to 400 per cent sales growth in 2002, according to market information company NPD Group.
"Consumers are gravitating to SD based on form factor, price, wide availability and extensive interchangeability among consumer digital electronics," said Peter Kastner, chief research officer at analyst Aberdeen Group.
"The rapid consumer adoption of MP3 players, PDAs, digital cameras and camcorders are driving SD demand. We [also] think that the miniSD will become a critical technology enabler in next-generation cellphones."
Ray Creech, president of industry body the Secure Digital Association, said: "SD has always been synonymous with innovation, and this is evident by the 550-plus companies supporting the SD format through the SD Card Association, and the continued consumer demand which increased more than fivefold last year alone.
"SD's market success is based on the strength of the format, its proven technology, innovative form factor and ability to meet the demands of shrinking digital products."
The SD Card Association introduced the miniSD Card in March 2003 for use in ultra-small devices, such as next-generation mobile phones.
MiniSD, based on existing SD Memory Card architecture, is a thumbnail-sized card which will operate with existing products through a passive adaptor.
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