SanDisk is to launch what it claims is the world’s largest removable storage capacity for mobile phones – a 16GB microSDHC and Memory Stick Micro mobile memory card.

The fingernail-sized memory cards are aimed at consumers wanting to get the most out of the many storage-intensive features in today’s portable handsets.

These include music and video playback, high-definition digital camera functions, gaming and GPS applications.

The 16GB card can also be used in other devices, including video cameras, GPS receivers or MP3 players with microSD slots.

MicroSD cards are designed for slot-equipped legacy mobile phones and can hold a maximum capacity of 2GB. Current MicroSDHC cards are available in 4GB and 8GB.

Avi Greengart, research director for mobile devices at Current Analysis, said there was an acute need for more mobile storage capacity.

He said 16GB gave consumers the ability to carry their digital content with them and still have room to do more with their mobile phones.

“Handsets have become far more than just phones – they’ve become mobile jukeboxes, mobile offices, even mobile movie theaters,” he said.

“Flash memory cards have increased in storage capacity, but even an 8GB card may be too small for anyone with GPS map data, a few movies, a game or two, a presentation file and other applications.”

SanDisk’s 16GB microSDHC card will be available in the US in November.

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