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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Storage Demands Flash Memory Industry

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By MAY WONG
AP Technology Writer

Flash industry sales are expected to jump to $18.7 billion in 2010, up from a record $10.6 billion in 2005, IDC forecasts.

"Storage growth is phenomenal," said IDC analyst John Rydning.

Though flash memory and hard drives will compete for business in some overlapping product segments - cell phones, portable media players and ultracompact laptops - analysts say both are poised to dominate their respective markets.

Hard drives, with their monster capacities, are expected to become increasingly vital components in all kinds of consumer gear - not just computers. They're also expanding into game consoles, car navigation systems, digital video recorders and camcorders.

And Watkins eyes the kingpin of consumer electronics: "Every TV will have a hard drive on it, in it, near it," he said, adding that storage demands will only be driven higher as consumers download more video games, TV shows, movies and other media.

Meanwhile, flash memory is expected to expand beyond its current staples of digital cameras, portable music players and keychain drives. Flash memory suppliers are bullish on how the portability and battery-life advantages of their technology will give consumers access to media wherever they want.


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