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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2006 - issue > Company Profile

Ruling the Flash World

Pradeep Shankar
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Pradeep Shankar
SanDisk’s founder, President and CEO Dr. Eli Harari, is gung-ho about what lies ahead for the flash memory market. He’s walking around the Consumer Electronic Show at Las Vegas oozing pride. He is quick in showing SanDisk’s mini SD card preloaded with the Rolling Stones album: ‘A Bigger Bang.’ “You can play it on 120 different cell phones in the world” he exclaims.

The Sunnyvale, California based maker of flash storage cards and products recently introduced a new 6-gigabyte MP3 player: Sansa e270 to take on Apple’s 4-gigabyte Nano. SanDisk entered the MP3 Player space a little over a year. Today it has about 29 percent of the MP3 flash category market, while Apple has about 49 percent, according to NPD Group, an industry research firm. Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, COO and EVP of SanDisk firmly believes that the new models will help the company increase its market share.

Along with MP3 audio player, at the CES, SanDisk also announced a slate of new gadgets including new USB drives. Following this, SanDisk’s (NASDAQ: SNDK) shares, which have traded between $20.25 and $69.39 over the last year, hit a new 52-week high of $74.40. Many analysts either maintained SanDisk’s stock as “Overweight” or an “Outperfomer.” SanDisk was the No.1 performing stock in 2005, with a return of over 150 percent.

SanDisk is the worldwide leader in removable memory cards making it one of the biggest beneficiaries of the soaring demand for cell phones, digital music players, digital cameras, and game consoles. Revenues have surged an average of 70 percent over the past three years and are on track to rise 19 percent this year, to $2.1 billion.
“2006 is going to be challenging and will be better for us,” Harari says, “The markets are growing.” He wants a large pie of the growing market. And he has worked out his strategies to play the cards right.

Storage demand shows no sign of slowing. The digital still camera, USB, mobile handsets, MP3Players, gaming consoles—all have an absolutely voracious appetite for flash memory. “These markets are all real, multi-billion dollar in nature and none of them are really mature. My opinion is the best is yet to come for the flash industry as a whole. We are No.1 in the U.S. with 45 percent market share in the flash memory segment. We will continue to be at the top,” affirms Mehrotra.

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