SanDisk and Sony have today announced that the have signed a cooperation agreement involving Memory Stick. Under this agreement SanDisk will ship its own branded Memory Stick. "The two companies also agreed to jointly develop, separately manufacture and sell the next generation of Memory Stick that will incorporate advanced features such as significantly higher performance and storage capacities."

Phil: So now it's SanDisk and Lexar (here and here).

SanDisk And Sony Agree To Cooperate On Memory Stick

SanDisk To Sell Memory Stick Under The SanDisk Brand;
Both Companies Agree To Partner On Next Generation Memory Stick Format

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sep. 5, 2001 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Sony Corporation today announced they have signed a cooperation agreement involving the Memory Stick.

Under the agreement, Sony will supply SanDisk with Memory Stick media that SanDisk will resell under its own brand through its retail channel. SanDisk will also supply under market-competitive terms a portion of Sony's NAND flash memory requirements.

The two companies also agreed to jointly develop, separately manufacture and sell the next generation of Memory Stick that will incorporate advanced features such as significantly higher performance and storage capacities.

Suehiro Nakamura, executive deputy president of Sony Corporation said "We are very pleased to announce the collaboration with SanDisk on Memory Stick. Our partnership with SanDisk, a world leader in memory cards, will allow us to increase Memory Stick market share and build a strong position to make Memory Stick as the standard of digital recording media in the world."

Eli Harari, SanDisk president and CEO, hailed the agreement as "a significant milestone for SanDisk. Sony and SanDisk share a common vision for exciting new digital audio/video applications that will require the next generation Memory Stick. We are very pleased that Sony has invited us to contribute our expertise and intellectual property in flash memory cards to jointly develop the next generation of Memory Stick. This agreement enables SanDisk to sell every major flash memory card form factor so we can truly be a one-stop shop to our retail customers. We are also encouraged by Sony's plan to purchase our NAND flash components because Sony is one of the largest consumers of NAND Flash Memory components today."

SanDisk plans to commence worldwide shipments of Memory Stick and accessories to its more than 29,000 retail outlets over the next two quarters. Sales of NAND components to Sony are expected to begin towards the end of the year.