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Smartphones Users Have Stopped Buying Memory Cards In India: Here’s Why

Last Updated: May 22, 2023, 17:48 IST

New phones without storage slot are becoming common in India

Market studies show that phones with memory card slot are slowly becoming a minority.

With most smartphones coming with up to 256GB onboard storage, people now have fewer reasons to buy microSD cards for their phones. And these changes have reflected in the recent market study for shipment of storage devices like microSD card, SD card that has declined in the past 12 months.

“In Q1, 25 per cent of smartphones without an external memory card slot were shipped, indicating a shift in the market trend,” said Shipra Sinha, lead analyst, CMR.

Not having an external card slot means you cannot expand the storage further on phones. The feature is mostly missing on phones in the higher Rs 30,000 bracket these days. The report from CMR also mentions that more than 55 percent of the phones shipped during the quarter had internal storage of 128GB or more.

It is interesting to see the market trends shift dramatically in short time. You still have plenty of budget and mid-range phones (under Rs 20,000) that come with microSD card slot for expansion. But as you might have noticed the market growth has shifted to the higher range, with the average selling price of a phone in India moving from Rs 15,000 to upwards of Rs 22,000 in the past few years.

And with that, the segment faces a degrowth, even though the shipments seem to have gone up. All this suggest the market is getting more supply of products than the demand, which is not ideal for any industry. The report mentions Sandisk is the undisputed leader in the storage pack with 70 percent share, followed by HP and Kingston coming third on the list.

But it is not all doom and gloom for the storage industry, as the flash drive still retains interest and demand from consumers, albeit from a different segment altogether. It will be interesting to see if cloud storage has a direct impact on demand of USB drives in the near future, as you generally get a feeling that pen drives are slowly but surely going out of fashion.

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