On Monday June 30th I published what will likely be the last memory card report of my life. Although the retirement of the memory card service was something I tried to fight off for some time, I am at peace with it. I can only be thankful for all that I learned while monitoring the market, and somewhat relieved knowing that I will never write in a single week again.
Today?s memory card market is driven by many of the same principles that were evident when I began monitoring it in 2005, but the extreme transitions that took place are nothing short of remarkable.
Capacities are at unforeseen heights and prices have eroded beyond expectations, causing 1GB SD cards to drop from $149 to in less than three years. Additionally, what was a solid group of top-tier players enjoying bullish profits has slowly transitioned into a one-horse race with everyone else playing the price game to compete. It was like Back to the Future II, but there was no Biff or sports almanac to blame for what happened to Hill Valley.
Instead the state of the memory card market can be traced back to advancements in chip manufacturing and a subsequent production race, low barriers to entry for card-makers, uneven patent distribution, and an over reliance on the next killer application to drive demand.
In addition to serving as a three-year course in the commodity theory, monitoring the memory card market has provided me with the rare opportunity to study products across the consumer electronics spectrum.
Although the majority of memory cards are still intended for use in digital cameras and mobile phones, slots can now be found in everything from media players to car stereos to flat screen televisions. And if that?s not enough, industry players have revived the idea of offering memory cards as a content delivery medium and are proudly touting the capability as a sign of good things to come.
Since I?m longer the memory card analyst I?ll leave that last theory alone.
I?m sure everyone will purchase their music and movies on SD cards once this internet fad blows over.
With no hesitation I move forward knowing that the lessons I learned from the memory card market will be well applied in future projects.
gap intelligence officially buries our Memory Card service, easily one of the best services ever offered that few clients could afford to buy.