SanDisk has announced its entry into East Africa through the appointing of Mitsumi, Despec and Techmart as distributors. This will see SanDisk products available in four East Africa countries, excluding Rwanda. The announcement was made Thursday in Nairobi by Ruben Dennenwaldt, SanDisk Senior Product Manager in Africa and Middle East and Brad Bennet, also a SanDisk executive.
The entry into the region comes 25 years after 3 Intel employees quit to go into flash storage, forming SanDisk. This was after Intel management turned down the technology as "too expensive". Intel now use the technology in their premium UltraBook laptop brand. The firm has shipped 1 billion storage cards in the last 10 years, and now ships 2 million a day at the rate of 23 a second. Flash disks are now common place in the world alongside, memory cards, which SanDisk has patents on and subsequently earns money for each of those sold. IDC report shows Africa as having a market for 200 million storage units by 2015, worth about 1 million dollars. SanDisk says that the Sub Saharan region has also overtaken North Africa in terms of volume and is now below Turkey.
Additionally, large companies such as Facebook use flash storage to provide very fast access to data. Flash storage disks are way faster than hard disks and also consume less energy due to eradication of moving parts. Products that SanDisk is bringing in the market include computing in the form of flash disks, imaging in the form of memory cards for cameras, mobile in the form of microSDs for smartphones and SSD in the form of fast PC hard disk alternatives.
Ruben says that SanDisk makes the highest quality of flash storage devices, with their only other rival when it comes to quality being Samsung. They therefore claim to have lower failure rates for their devices, where he explains that other manufacturers might opt for cheaper, lower grade storage which have reliability issues with high failure rates.
SanDisk is also looking at tackling counterfeit storage products which has led to a bad experience to users who thought they were buying the genuine product. The firm will be running a campaign advising consumers on how to spot the new genuine SanDisk packaging, and also on what prices they can buy the products at. Retailers who stock counterfeit products will also be targeted, with SanDisk educating them on the benefits of stocking genuine products. Revenue officials will be educated on how to spot counterfeit items in shipping.
SanDisk offers four classes of products ranging from standard to ultra, extreme and extreme pro.
Standard is packaged in red and is targeted for general use and price conscious users. Extreme and Extreme Pro are targeted at use in premium smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and camera users. Ruben explains that when taking photos in burst mode (several in succession), the photographer may notice a lag as the device tries to write the large file to the SD Card. The Extreme products are designed with fast write speeds thus reducing such issues.
The firm announced its Extreme MicroSD which has 64 GB capacity and speed of 80 Megabits per second, theoretically taking just over 13 minutes to fill or empty the SD card. Also announced was a USB 3.0 flash disk, which will have storage between 16 and 64 gigabytes and also offer speeds of up to 80 Mbps. USB 3.0 is a new standard of USB which has more than twice the speed of current USB technology.