Flash card or memory card and USB flash drives are electronic data storage devices with a flash memory, usually used to store digital information. Need for development of these devices emerges by the growing need for a compact and easy to maintain storage device. Earlier floppy disk and CDs were used for data storage but as they were prone to damages and the stored information posses the risk of being permanently getting eroded, this led to the development of flash cards and USB flash drives. The USB flash drives and flash cards are touted as being user friendly and easy-to-use as they are compact and portable enough to be carried in a small pocket and can be connected into any device such as computer with a USB port or a card slot.
Flash memory card developers are presently manufacturing devices that have high storage capacities, which are similar to hard disk drives (HDDs). 256 GB is the maximum storage capacity of flash cards which currently exist in market. Manufacturers in order to retain and gain new customers are developing and delivering high storage capacity products. Moreover, a trend is observed among the customers especially teenage and middle aged groups, to possess storage device with highest storage capacities. To take advantage of this trend, manufacturers are offering flash cards and USB flash drives with high storage capacities.
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One of the major factors contributing to the growth of flash cards and USB flash drives market growth is the rising demand for robust memory storage devices which are highly compact with maximum storage capacity. In addition, the global flash cards and USB flash drives market is witnessing the growing adoption of high-density cards used for data storage, by flash memory card sellers. However, the market poses a strong challenge in terms of growth by rising number of portable devices with high in-built memory.
The market for flash cards is segmented on the basis of application into communication devices, cameras or camcorders and others which includes gaming consoles. Moreover, the flash card market is segmented on the basis of type into compact flash cards, secure digital cards, mini secure digital card, micro secure digital cards, xD-Picture Card, multi media cards and smart media card. In addition, the USB flash drives market is segmented on the basis of capacity into 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and more than 64GB. On the basis of type the market of USB flash drives is segmented into USB flash drive generation 1.0, drive generation 2.0 and generation 3.0. Generation 3.0 is considered to the latest of its kind.
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Some of the key players in the USB flash drive market are -DATA Technology Co., Ltd., Buffalo Technology (UK), Ltd., Add On Technology Co., Ltd., Corsair Memory, Inc., Edge Tech Corporation, Hewlett- Packard, Ennova Direct, Inc. and Imation Corp. among others. The key players of flash memory cards market are SanDisk Corp., Kingston Technology Corp., Toshiba Corp., Samsung Group and Transcend Information Inc. among others.