Can you believe that the microSD Card is ten years old? It's true. On 13 July 2005, the final specification was unleashed upon the world. Smaller than a postage stamp, the little card allowed manufacturers to feature removable storage in smaller devices.
While this mostly benefited the cellphone and smartphone markets, it has been used in other devices too, such as the renowned Surface Pro 3 and many mp3 players.
While the birthday alone is worthy of a celebration, there is yet another major milestone with the card type. SanDisk, the inventor of the format, announces that it has shipped 2 billion microSD cards. Keep in mind, that is only SanDisk's sales. Mamma mia, that's a lot of cards!
"Invented by SanDisk in 2004, the microSD format was initially known as TransFlash. In 2005 SanDisk contributed the technology to the SD Card Association who renamed and released the final specifications for the microSD format on July 13, 2005. This format has become the most popular removable memory card in SanDisk's history. Collectively, SanDisk's two billion microSD cards could store an estimated 11,103 billion megabytes (MB) worth of memory -- the equivalent of more than 100MB of flash storage for every man, woman and child that ever lived on Earth", says SanDisk.
The company further says, "the microSD format has also helped propel the smartphone market by giving both manufacturers and consumers greater flexibility and freedom. Approximately 75 per cent of smartphone models on the market today contain microSD slots, according to data from Strategy Analytics. Google included microSD slots in two of its fastest-growing and largest mobile product segments - Android One, its mobile operating system for sub-$200 phones, and phones designed for emerging markets. Android M, Google's next mobile operating system, and Windows Mobile both permit consumers to run applications directly on microSD cards and/or increase the primary storage capacity of their devices".
While I respect the company for staying bullish on the microSD market, I think it may be a bit misguided. Even though Android M permits increased usage of external cards, manufacturers are increasingly shunning expandable storage.
With the adoption of the cloud, I do not expect this anti-expandable memory trend to change any time soon.