SanDisk will introduce the cards this fall in a variety of retail outlets, including super centers, grocery stores, drug stores and photo supply stores. Suggested retail prices, including IVA taxes, are 240 pesos (approximately US $21) for the 50-photo card and 300 pesos (approximately US $25.50) for the 100-photo card. The cards will be distributed in Mexico by two companies, IMALDI and C & D Comercial.|
"Shoot & Store flash card capacities are ideal for new owners of digital cameras," said Daniel O'Donnell, president of Grupo O'Donnell International, SanDisk's sales representative for Latin America. "Digital camera resolutions are generally low and many people still do not own computers, so they can easily store their pictures on the cards and take the cards directly to photo processors."
Latin America is the fastest growing region in the world for digital cameras, according to IDC, an international market research firm. "Last year, the market grew 145 percent, with more than 1 million new digital still cameras shipped," said Jay Gumbiner, program manager for consumer and commercial devices with IDC Latin America in Miami, Florida. "Buoyed by a new technology with aggressive price points as well as by an economic recovery in much of the region compared to 2002, many vendors have begun to invest more heavily in the market," he said. "And consumers are beginning to see the benefits of digital photography."
Mexico is by far the largest digital camera market in Latin America, said Gumbiner, accounting for nearly four out of every 10 digital cameras shipped in the region in 2003.
Since last spring, Shoot & Store has been available in the United States, Canada and Australia, where the line is sold in supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores. In the U.S. alone, Shoot & Store is now sold in more than 10,000 retail outlets.
Although the cards are re-writable and function just like standard flash cards, their low prices allow for people to begin viewing them as "consumable" cards - much like consumers today view 35mm analog film - for use in archiving digital pictures on the cards themselves. Users can delete unwanted images, use the cards as permanent "digital negatives," e-mail images to friends and family, and purchase new cards when they need them. They can also leave their cards with photo finishers and order prints in the same way they’ve been doing with film. Digital images on Shoot & Store cards will not deteriorate over time and are expected to last indefinitely as long as the cards are kept in a dry place at room temperature.
To make it easier for consumers to determine the number of images they might get with a Shoot & Store card, the packages are labeled as having 50 photos (32MB) or 100 photos (64MB) capacities, which are based on a resolution setting of 1 megapixel. At 2 megapixels, a 32-megabyte card would yield about 34 photos. Actual picture counts are approximate and will vary depending on the camera model and resolution setting.