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Sony's 512MB Memory Stick PRO Duo card. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sony Memory Stick: New products, partners
(Monday, August 18, 2003 - 16:49 EDT)

Sony and a number of partner companies have published press releases announcing a ramp of new products in the Memory Stick line.

Full details are in the press releases, but briefly:
  • Sony will begin shipping Memory Stick Duo media in the USA at a cost of $45 for 64MB (70¢ / MB) or $75 for 128MB (59¢ / MB); availability date not announced.
  • Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo media will start shipping in October priced at $125 for 256MB (49¢ / MB) or $300 for 512MB (59¢ / MB).
  • Sony's MSAC-US30 USB 2.0 Memory Stick Reader / Writer with dual Memory Stick / Memory Stick Duo slots will ship in October for $60.
  • Lexar will begin manufacturing own-branded Memory Stick Duo cards in September in capacities of 32, 64 and 128MB (no pricing details announced).
  • Lexar's Memory Stick PRO Duo cards will ship in 256MB capacity in September, and in 512MB capacity in October (pricing details not announced).
  • SanDisk will begin shipping Memory Stick Duo cards in capacities from 32MB ($34.99 - 91¢ / MB) to 128MB ($69.99 - 55¢ / MB) this September.
  • SanDisk's Memory Stick PRO Duo cards will begin shipping in September with capacities of 256MB ($129.99 - 51¢ / MB) or 512MB ($309.99 - 60¢ / MB).
  • Samsung will begin manufacturing and selling own-branded Memory Stick media, and manufacturing products compatible with Memory Stick, from the third quarter of this year.
It isn't clear from the press releases whether SanDisk will be manufacturing Memory Stick Duo cards, or rebadging cards manufactured by Sony or another company. Read the press releases below for more details.

Original Source Press Release:


SAN DIEGO, August 15, 2003 - Sony today announced several advancements in the Memory Stick® media family, broadening the line-up and enhancing Memory Stick media-capable applications ranging from high-quality video content and high-resolution digital images to CD-quality audio.

Sony's 512MB MagicGate Memory Stick PRO Duo card and Memory Stick Duo adapter. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

New Memory Stick PRO Duo Media
At only one-third the size and half the weight of full-size Memory Stick media, Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media offers the same technologies and features of Memory Stick PRO™ media, including MagicGate™ copyright protection technology, high capacities and a theoretical maximum data transfer capability of up to 20 megabytes per second (MB/s).

The tiny media is ideal for use in small digital devices, including cellular phones, wearable portable audio players and pocket-sized digital imaging devices. Memory Stick PRO Duo media will be available in October in capacities of 256MB and 512MB for about $125 and $300, respectively.

Memory Stick Duo Media Now with High-Speed Transfer
Meanwhile, original Memory Stick Duo media™, announced earlier this year, has hit the fast track with a theoretical maximum transfer speed of up to 20 MB/s. The transfer speed differs depending on the Memory Stick compliant device that is used.

In addition, the newly introduced Memory Stick Duo media will come equipped with MagicGate copyright protection technology for the secure transfer of digital music with MagicGate-enabled devices.

For added versatility, all Memory Stick Duo media ship with an adapter that is compatible with all devices with a full-size Memory Stick media slot.

Memory Stick Duo media will be available in the U.S. in capacities of 64MB and 128MB for about $45 and $75, respectively.

Sony's MSAC-US30 Memory Stick USB Reader / Writer. Courtesy of Sony, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Faster Transfer Speed via a USB Adapter
The MSAC-US30 Memory Stick USB Reader/Writer is Sony's first adapter that enables a faster read/write speed of new Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO media. When used with a USB 2.0-enabled PC, the device can read Memory Stick PRO media at speeds of up to approximately 4.4MBps when combined with the MSX-512 512MB Memory Stick PRO media.

The adapter is also the first to offer a dual slot to accommodate both standard-size Memory Stick media and the smaller Memory Stick Duo media. The MSAC-US30 Reader/Writer will be available in October for about $60.

# # #

Lexar Media Expands Product Line with Newly Introduced Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo

FREMONT, CA, August 15, 2003 - Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq:LEXR), a leading designer, developer and marketer of award-winning high-performance digital media and accessories, today announced plans to manufacture and distribute Memory Stick Duo. The newly introduced Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo are one-third the volume and one half the weight of a standard Memory Stick, which makes them ideal for mobile phones, compact digital cameras and mobile electronic devices. Lexar Media's Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo will integrate the company's proprietary controller technology to achieve advanced speed performance.

"Lexar Media has collaborated with Sony in support of the Memory Stick format for over three years," said Eric Stang, chairman, president and CEO, Lexar Media. "Since we began manufacturing Memory Stick, the format has grown to be a major portion of the overall digital media market and an important part of our product line-up. The addition of Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo to our product line allows Lexar Media to continue its leadership position in this rapidly growing segment."

The Memory Stick Duo offered by Lexar Media will be available in capacities of 32MB, 64MB and 128MB, and utilizes a parallel interface for high speed data transfer when connected to host products with a parallel interface. It will be compatible with most existing Memory Stick Duo devices and Memory Stick devices when used with an adapter that is supplied with the product.

Lexar Media's Memory Stick PRO Duo utilizes the latest generation Memory Stick format and will be available in capacities of 256MB and 512MB, with a theoretical maximum storage capacity of 32GB. Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo are equipped with MagicGate(tm), a copyright protection technology that consists of authentication and encryption technologies. The authentication technology ensures that protected content is only transferred between compliant devices and media, and that protected content is recorded and transferred in an encrypted format to prevent unauthorized copying or playback.

Lexar Media plans to begin shipments of Memory Stick Duo in September 2003, and shipments of Memory Stick PRO Duo in capacities of 256MB and 512MB in September and October 2003, respectively.

Sony introduced Memory Stick in September of 1998. In April 2000, Lexar Media and Sony signed a joint technology agreement that included rights for Lexar Media to manufacture and market Memory Stick media.

About Lexar Media, Inc.
Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEXR) is a leading designer, marketer and licensor of award-winning removable flash-based digital storage media, card readers and ATA controller solutions for the digital photography, consumer electronics, industrial and communications markets. Lexar Media brands digital memory cards in the industry's most popular formats including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard and SD. As a digital storage innovator, Lexar Media was the first to develop and advance proprietary read-write speed standards for its USB-enabled CompactFlash cards and holds over 60 controller and system patents. Licensees of Lexar Media's technology include Olympus, SanDisk, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Headquartered in Fremont, California, Lexar Media also has offices in London and Tokyo. Lexar Media is a member of the Russell 2000 Index. For more information, please call 1-800-789-9418 or visit www.lexarmedia.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. These forward-looking statements include statements related to the benefits of and consumer demand for Lexar Media's high performance CompactFlash products. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. These risks include that the growth and success of Lexar Media's business depends on its ability to achieve and maintain technology leadership, and sell and market products that are commercially accepted. Readers should also refer to the risk factors described in Lexar Media's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2002 filed with the SEC on March 31, 2003, as amended on July 31, 2003. Lexar Media assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this news release.

Lexar Media, JumpDrive and the Lexar Media logo are trademarks of Lexar Media, Inc. Lexar Media Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.



SUNNYVALE, CA, Aug. 15, 2003 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today introduced the SanDisk Memory Stick Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO Duo flash memory cards to expand its Memory Stick product line. The two new Memory Stick Duo cards are designed to fit into electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and other consumer electronics devices.

SanDisk's 128MB MagicGate Memory Stick Duo card. Courtesy of SanDisk, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

The new Memory Stick Duo cards are targeted at the new generation of 2.5G and 3G mobile phones such as the 505i series currently offered by NTT DoCoMo in Japan. These mobile phones require greater storage capacity for their storage-intensive features such as digital cameras, video capture and playback, digital audio players, games, and messaging capabilities.

With higher performance and embedded MagicGate technology, the Memory Stick PRO Duo cards are targeted for digital music players, digital still and video cameras. The Memory Stick PRO Duo cards feature high capacity, high-speed data transfer and built-in security for the secure transfer of copyright-protected content and real-time recording of high-resolution images and video.

Some of the first consumer electronics products that use the Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards include:
  • Sony-Ericsson P800 camera-phone/PDA combination
  • NTT DoCoMo D505i & SO505i camera-phones
  • Sony Network Walkman Digital Music Player
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U50 digital camera.
"We are very excited to expand our product line to include the new Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo cards," said Nelson Chan, senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's retail business unit. "We believe this will allow people with mobile phones, digital cameras and other devices that use these new cards to readily store and use their digital pictures, music and personal data. With these additions, SanDisk is currently the only company to offer every major industry-standard card format available, which makes SanDisk a true one-stop shop for our retail customers."

SanDisk's 512MB MagicGate Memory Stick PRO Duo card. Courtesy of SanDisk, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

The new Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo cards are approximately 1/3 the size of a Memory Stick card and measure 20 x 31 x 1.6 mm (0.8 x 1.2 x 0.06 in). For maximum flexibility, both cards include a Memory Stick adapter for use in all Memory Stick or Memory Stick PRO devices.

The new cards, which SanDisk expects to begin shipping in September, will be available in these capacities and respective pricing:
  • SanDisk Memory Stick Duo cards, 32 megabytes (MB) to 128MB, $34.99 to $69.99
  • SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, 256MB and 512MB, $129.99 and $309.99.
In addition to these two new cards, SanDisk offers a complete line of Memory Stick products and accessories that includes the Memory Stick, Memory Stick with Select Function and USB 2.0 card readers.

SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage card products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation to update the information in this release.

Samsung and Sony Strengthening Cooperation Through Memory Stick Business

Samsung Electronics to Expand Line of Memory Stick Compatible Products and Begin In-House Memory Stick Media Production From Third Quarter 2003

SEOUL, South Korea and TOKYO, Aug. 5 -- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (hereafter "Samsung") and Sony Corporation (hereafter "Sony") today announced that an agreement has been reached whereby Samsung is licensed by Sony to manufacture and sell Memory Stick media. Under this agreement, Samsung will begin in-house manufacturing and sales of Memory Stick media from the third quarter of 2003.

This agreement strengthens the cooperative relationship existing between the two companies beyond the basic agreement reached in August of 2001. Under the 2001 agreement, Sony worked with Samsung to add Memory Stick compatibility to a range of Samsung products including DVD players, mobile phones, PCs and televisions.

In addition to manufacturing Memory Stick compatible products, the current license enables in-house manufacturing of Memory Stick media by Samsung. Once production begins in the third quarter of 2003, Samsung will commence bundling of Memory Stick media with compatible products as well as separate media sales under the Samsung brand. In addition to the product lines agreed on with the 2001 announcement, Memory Stick will be employed in Samsung's new product categories. With the expanding range of Memory Stick compatible products, Memory Stick's "Connected World" is gaining momentum.

Sony believes that by strengthening cooperation with Samsung and accelerating the incorporation of Memory Stick slots into Samsung's wide range of product categories, Memory Stick's "Connected World" will grow to offer customers a wider range of cutting-edge products.

Through the strengthening of their cooperative relationship, Samsung and Sony aim to expand the Memory Stick business and secure Memory Stick's position within the memory card market while providing customers with a wider range of products.

Comment from Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Jong-Yong Yun:

"Together with our current expansion of Memory Stick compatible products aimed at expanding the 'Memory Stick World,' Samsung expects the current licensing contract to result in a synergy effect which will further strengthen the flash memory business. Samsung will continue offering new lifestyles and value to Memory Stick customers while introducing next-generation mobile media products suited to a ubiquitous environment. We also look forward to the further cooperation with Sony in related applied technologies."

Comment from Sony Corporation President and Group COO Kunitake Ando:

"Memory Stick is a network media allowing seamless connection of content and services between PCs and various digital consumer electronics. Samsung Electronics is a major semiconductor manufacturer and its manufacture and sale of Memory Stick media will accelerate the growth of Memory Stick throughout the world. Together with media, the expansion of Samsung's lines of digital cameras, mobile phones and other Memory Stick compatible products will enable Memory Stick's 'Connected World' to expand allowing customers to enjoy a broad range of content and services through a diverse array of devices. The current agreement further strengthens the cooperative relationship between the two companies and I am convinced that it will strengthen the Memory Stick format's position as the global standard within the memory card market."

About Memory Stick:

Since its market introduction in September 1998, Memory Stick has evolved from a storage media for still images and computer data into a broad networking media for recording diverse content, including copyrighted material, and sharing it among the widest possible variety of products. As of April 2003, worldwide cumulative shipments of Memory Stick media had reached 40 million units and shipments of Memory Stick compliant products had reached over 40 million units.

About Samsung:

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, and digital convergence technology. Samsung Electronics employs approximately 75,000 people in 89 offices in 47 countries. The company is the world's largest producer of memory chips, TFT-LCDs, CDMA mobile phones, monitors and VCRs. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units: Digital Media Network, Device Solution Network, Telecommunication Network and Digital Appliance Network Businesses.

About Sony:

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $62 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003.

All trade names are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

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