The microSDHC is being marketed as a "must-have component" for people who take lots of photos and video and store a lot of music on their smartphones. SanDisk claims it's the first to ship such a product.
"This is the highest-capacity card of its type, and SanDisk is pleased to be the first to ship such an advanced product," Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO of SanDisk, said in a statement.
The product is available starting Tuesday on U.S. and European Web sites. Worldwide availability in stores is scheduled for next month. The microSDHC comes with a five-year limited warranty and carries a manufacturer suggested retail price of $200.
SanDisk also makes microSDHC cards in capacities of 2, 4, 8, and 16 GB. The products are built using the company's 32-nanometer, 3-bit per cell manufacturing process. The cards are also available to handset manufacturers for bundling with products. MicroSDHCs come in a variety of cards and adapter configurations, as well as with the option of pre-loading them with custom software.
Shipments of mobile phones equipped with removable memory cards are expected to reach 1.04 billion phones next year from 592 million in 2007, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. Almost six in 10 are expected to use the microSD, including microSDHC, slot format.
However, use of the format is expected to reach a peak next year with 86% penetration, after which it will face competition from other high-capacity alternatives, such as Universal Flash Storage.