The Flash Memory Card Market Explosion Burns On, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA — OCTOBER 25, 2000 — The increasing availability and distribution of music over the Internet, the increasing digital camera market, and Internet ubiquity will fuel the fire left behind by the flash memory card market explosion. According to IDC, the flash card market's dramatic 160% shipment growth in 1999 will spur revenue growth. The global market intelligence and advisory firm projects worldwide revenue will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 50%, from $717 million in 1999 to $5.3 billion in 2004.


"Faster communication technologies coupled with increasing affordability will bolster the flash card market," said Xavier Pucel, manager for IDC's Semiconductor research program. "Users needing a way to store, archive, transport, and easily transfer content from the Web will drive flash card volume, which in turn will reduce costs."

IDC says CompactFlash (CF) and SmartMedia (SM) will continue to dominate the digital camera market, while other smaller form factors will benefit most from the explosion of mobile applications.

According to IDC, industrial and telecom applications will continue to drive healthy demand for high-end cards, and mainstream digital cameras will fuel demand for low-cost, consumer-oriented removable cards. Additionally, the rapid emergence of digital music players will create demand for additional cards.

"The trend toward the Internet will not only bring Internet access to PC peripherals like digital cameras, music players, and handhelds, but will also drive new applications and products," Pucel said. "As products connect to the Internet independently of the PC, the market will expand to non-PC owners, driving demand for removable storage."

Despite the current flash chip shortage today and the fact that competing companies are striving to develop solutions that are cheaper than flash technology, IDC says the outlook for this market is strong and the window of opportunity for emerging technologies is narrowing.

Information like the above can be found in IDC's report Worldwide Flash Memory Card Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999?2004 (IDC #B23117). This report forecasts the worldwide flash memory card market through 2004. It provides insight into the opportunity for each form factor. Demand factors and overall flash card market trends, as well as analysis of technology trends, are also discussed. Data includes shipments by capacity point, form factor, application market, and OEM and retail channel; value of shipments; average sales price (ASP); ASP/MB; and average card capacity. To purchase this report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, extension 6787, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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