It was only a year ago that SanDisk unveiled the first ever 128GB microSD card. Now, at Mobile World Congress, the company has upped the stakes once again, announcing a microSD card with an incredible 200GB of storage. This is more memory than many modern laptops equipped with solid state drives, and can turn any Android device into a portable hard drive for music and photos. This is certainly where SanDisk is hoping the card will be useful (the company notes that seven out of 10 images are now captured on smartphones and tablets, a ratio they predict will rise to nine out of 10 by the year 2019) but the future of SD cards on mobiles is far from certain.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both break with tradition by dropping the option for expandable storage (just as the iPhone has ever since its inception) and although HTC’s new One M9 does give customers the option, HTC is far from leading the market at this point. SanDisk’s new card does have impressive transfer speeds of 90MB/s, but that’s nothing compared to recent SSDs and there’s even some evidence that additional storage can slow down Android smartphones in general. Still, there are millions of existing Android devices that the new microSD card will work on, although with a $400 price tag, not everyone will want to upgrade.