Sony US has today confirmed new retail pricing for Memory Stick storage cards. "Effective today, Memory Stick media in 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, 64MB and 128MB capacities are available for around $25, $35, $50, $80 and $150, respectively at retailers nationwide and at www.sonystyle.com." This means that a 128 MB Memory Stick has a cost per MB of $1.17, compared to Compact Flash at approximately $0.78/MB and SmartMedia at approximately $0.93/MB.

Press release:

NEW PRICING OF MEMORY STICK® MEDIA EXPECTED TO BROADEN APPEAL

Popular Flash Memory Format's Cross-Platform Compatibility Ensures Easy File Transfer and Storage

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 1, 2001 - Memory Stick media, the digital flash memory format that helps create personal networks, today became even more accessible as Sony Electronics decreased prices for all capacities of the popular flash media.

Effective today, Memory Stick media in 8MB, 16MB, 32MB, 64MB and 128MB capacities are available for around $25, $35, $50, $80 and $150, respectively at retailers nationwide and at www.sonystyle.com.

Memory Stick media is a widely licensed and available industry standard in flash memory that allows consumers to transfer any file format between any compatible device - regardless of the manufacturer - without having to reformat the card and lose any previously stored data.

Worldwide, more than 100 Memory Stick products from various manufacturers have been developed or commercialized in 30 categories such as consumer electronics, information technology and recordable media.

"Memory Stick media continues to gain popularity very quickly as evidenced by its jump in U.S. market share and widespread installed user base," said Mark Viken, Sony Electronics' senior vice president and Memory Stick project leader. "Consumers are recognizing the benefits of connecting their digital devices, and this price reduction will enable even more consumers to take advantage of the interoperability that the Memory Stick format offers across a broad range of products and applications."

Strong Market Growth and Acceptance

The Memory Stick format has achieved an incredibly rapid market penetration since its 1998 introduction. According to NPD Intelect, in the calendar year ending in December 2000, Memory Stick media market share grew from 7 percent in the first quarter to over 25 percent by the fourth quarter, outpacing the percentage growth of other flash formats. Additionally, after just 2 1/2 years, the Memory Stick media has grown from concept to market acceptance with more than 10 million compatible products worldwide. By 2003, a projected 100 million users are expected to be linking, sharing and connecting to a network of digital devices.

Connecting a Host of Devices

With the Memory Stick media and products, consumers are able to store, transfer and share their music, pictures and data between compatible devices in more product categories than any other media format. These include areas of consumer technology: car navigation systems, personal computers, digital cameras, handheld devices, projectors, printers, media, wireless phones, portable audio units, entertainment robots, and even retail kiosks, where travelers can download local sightseeing information. Additionally, with 167 companies now supporting Memory Stick media, more Memory Stick products are being developed.

MagicGate™ Memory Stick media, which has an extra embedded chip to enable the transfer and playback of secure content and to protect copyrighted material, has also been reduced in price in its three capacity variations.

Capacity Memory Stick Pricing MagicGate Memory Stick Pricing
8 MB $24.95 -
16 MB $34.95 -
32 MB $49.95 $69.95
64 MB $79.95 $99.95
128 MB $149.95 $169.95

Phil: I don't see how Sony can justify an extra $20 per card for the additional security chip embedded into the MagicGate cards, luckily those are only used in Sony's portable audio players. Secondly, it will be interesting to see how this announcement effects the street price of Memory Stick.