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SanDisk first to ship 32GB microSD cards

The tiny card, which can be used in phones and other devices, provides the largest storage capacity yet for its format

SanDisk has started shipping a 32GB microSD card, the highest-capacity memory card commercially available in that format, the company announced on Monday.

The flash card, which falls into the high-capacity microSD (microSDHC) format, will enable users to load twice as much content onto their mobile devices than was previously possible.

"With the large volume of photos, videos and music that consumers create and carry around, a high-capacity memory card is a must-have component of today's smartphone," said Sanjay Mehrotra, president of SanDisk. "This is the highest-capacity card of its type [and] marks yet another important first in our innovative history in the flash memory industry."

The 15 by 11 by 1mm cards are based on SanDisk's third-generation 32nm X3 three-bit-per-cell technology. Greater capacities are likely to require the extended-capacity microSD (microSDXC) format. SanDisk already ships MicroSD cards with 2, 4, 8 and 16GB capacity.

The product will be available from high-street retailers, but the company is also trying to work with handset manufacturers and mobile operators to get the cards pre-sold with mobile devices, which would then provide the option to pre-install custom software.

The suggested retail price for the 32GB cards is £144.99, which is 169 percent more expensive than the 16GB product on SanDisk's online store.

Samsung was first to announce a 32GB microSDHC card in January, although those cards are yet to ship.