SanDisk today announced a new line of inexpensive
flash memory cards designed to allow users to save their pictures indefinitely
without using a computer for downloading, thus giving millions of consumers a
major incentive to switch from film to digital photography and providing them
with a durable, permanent way to store a lifetime of images. With an initial
suggested retail price of $ 14.99 each — a breakthrough in the industry — the
Shoot & Store(TM) cards are expected to allow people to order prints on a
“cost-of-use” basis that is equal to or less than that of traditional analog
film. And they won’t have to worry about leaving expensive flash memory cards
with retail photo finishers.

The first card types in the Shoot & Store line
are Compact Flash (CF), SD and SmartMedia. The CF and SD cards initially will be
offered in 50-picture (32-megabyte) sizes while the SmartMedia cards will be
offered with 50 pictures only. By the middle of the year, SanDisk plans to
distribute 100-picture (64-megabyte) cards at an initial price of $ 24.99, as
well as add other card formats including Memory Stick PRO and xD. The Shoot &
Store line also includes an optional SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer, which enables
consumers to show their digital images on a television set — thereby
eliminating the need to use a PC. For archiving purposes, SanDisk expects to
offer, as an optional accessory at the same outlets, a CD-sized plastic jewel
case that can accommodate many cards to be indexed and stored for easy retrieval
in the future.

SanDisk today announced a new line of inexpensive
flash memory cards designed to allow users to save their pictures indefinitely
without using a computer for downloading, thus giving millions of consumers a
major incentive to switch from film to digital photography and providing them
with a durable, permanent way to store a lifetime of images. With an initial
suggested retail price of $ 14.99 each — a breakthrough in the industry — the
Shoot & Store(TM) cards are expected to allow people to order prints on a
"cost-of-use" basis that is equal to or less than that of traditional analog
film. And they won’t have to worry about leaving expensive flash memory cards
with retail photo finishers.

SanDisk officials believe that the Shoot & Store
line will create profound changes in the way people think about taking pictures
by removing the last barriers to the mass acceptance of digital photography.
With its ease-of-use concept, Shoot & Store is intended to convince large
numbers of consumers — especially those who have been hesitant to join the
digital revolution — that now is the time to buy a digital camera. For the
first time, SanDisk believes that it is both economical and efficient to use the
same card for capturing and storing digital "negatives." This solves one of the
most vexing problems of digital photography and allows people without computer
skills — or without the time to download their images — to use a digital
camera.

Distributing flash memory products through the
food and drug channels is a first for SanDisk. Since December, the company has
been test-marketing the concept at more than 800 retail outlets nationwide,
including Kroger supermarkets. Other major retail chains — including Rite Aid
drugstores — have already agreed to carry the Shoot & Store line. The low cost,
convenience and simplicity of the cards are designed to generate new business to
the stores that consumers visit frequently. The cards also provide options for
consumers to get quality snapshots from the retailers’ do-it-yourself photo
kiosks or from in-house processing services instead of toiling over home
printers to make photos that end up costing more and may be prone to fading in a
few months.

Steve Lund, Rite Aid’s Category Manager, said,
"Rite Aid is excited to be the first in the drugstore industry to offer our
customers an affordable and convenient option for digital technology. This
further strengthens our strategy for digital photography, positioning Rite Aid
stores as the convenient destination for flash memory cards and digital print
processing."

The first card types in the Shoot & Store line are Compact Flash (CF), SD and
SmartMedia. The CF and SD cards initially will be offered in 50-picture
(32-megabyte) sizes while the SmartMedia cards will be offered with 50 pictures
only. By the middle of the year, SanDisk plans to distribute 100-picture
(64-megabyte) cards at an initial price of $ 24.99, as well as add other card
formats including Memory Stick PRO and xD. (The number of pictures is
approximate and is based on a 1-megapixel camera in high-resolution or fine
mode. The actual number will vary depending on subject complexity and camera
model.)

The Shoot & Store line also includes an optional SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer,
which enables consumers to show their digital images on a television set —
thereby eliminating the need to use a PC. For archiving purposes, SanDisk
expects to offer, as an optional accessory at the same outlets, a CD-sized
plastic jewel case that can accommodate many cards to be indexed and stored for
easy retrieval in the future.

SanDisk officials believe that the cards are particularly attractive to users
who don’t have the time or desire to save their pictures on a home computer and
would like to store them in their original form, just as they’re accustomed to
doing with film negatives. Consumers will be able to take their cards directly
to professional photo finishers or kiosks at major retailers such as
supermarkets, drug store chains and convenience stores, in some cases picking up
their prints after shopping.

"With this new product line, we believe that we’ve lowered the cost of entry for
digital film and that we’re bringing the benefits of digital photography to
people who may have been reluctant to make the switch," said Wes Brewer, senior
director of retail product line marketing for SanDisk. "Now, we believe that
everyone from soccer moms to senior citizens can enjoy taking digital photos
without the hassle of transferring their images to another medium via a PC."

Brewer said the cost of printing photos from digital media tends to be less than
from analog film negatives. "Comparing the cost of film, processing and printing
of thirty-six 4×6-inch photos to the cost of a Shoot & Store card and a similar
number of digital prints, we expect that consumers will find little difference
in many cases," said Brewer. "But we believe that the advantages of digital
flash memory — including the durability of the medium and the opportunity for
users to select only the images they want to keep and print — outweigh any
minor price variations between the two formats."

Christopher Chute, senior analyst for the Worldwide Digital Imaging Program of
IDC, a global market research company, said Shoot & Store addresses two
underserved markets. "One consists of people who have resisted digital
photography because they perceived it to be too complicated or too expensive,"
he said. "Another consists of users who are new to digital imaging, who have
just purchased a basic, 2-megapixel camera and prefer to use it in a way that is
familiar to them from their experience with analog film cameras." He added: "By
targeting traditional film and processing retailers, we believe that SanDisk has
leveraged the best of their technology and channel presence to provide a strong
value proposition to users and retailers in the rapidly growing digital camera
market. Through the low price points, we believe that SanDisk can provide a
comfort level for consumers and a viable, safe means to permanently store their
images."