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M-Systems USB Flash drive survey
Mark Peters : May 9th 2005 - 00:12 CET
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M-SystemsM-Systems USB Flash drive survey : M-Systems, the leading developer of USB flash drives, announced today the results of an independent survey on the usage of USB flash drives. The survey, commissioned by M-Systems and executed by Hall and Partners, a renowned research agency, is the first to reach out to the end-user and determine how they are using these versatile devices. The study revealed that 80 percent of respondents are using their USB flash drive for personal use, mainly for storing multimedia files such as music (62%), graphics (52%) and video (46%). Sixty-four percent of respondents who use USB flash drives for work stated that they use the device for transferring work-related files between work and home.
M-Systems USB Flash drive surveyM-Systems - Part of everyday life
"We were pleased to hear that 66 percent use these devices to exchange files with friends and family," said Blaine Phelps, worldwide marketing director of M-Systems' DiskOnKey. "In fact, 40 percent said that they either cannot live without the devices or that they were dependent on them, making it clear that USB flash drives are becoming an integral part of the users' everyday life." When asked about future use, the respondents said they are looking for more than simple storage.

M-Systems - USB drive technology beyond storage
They indicated a strong desire for applications that will offer customized portable desktops, email access, password management, corporate authentication, access to financial information, web accounts, textbooks, school information (report cards, etc.), health care files and video games. "This survey proves that additional applications are in demand," said Phelps. "M-Systems, in conjunction with SanDisk, created U3(TM), a newly formed company that is focused on expanding USB drive technology beyond storage. This investment shows our commitment to making these applications come to life."

M-Systems - Memory capacity and Price
The top two incentives for purchasing a USB flash drive are its memory capacity (61%) and its price (60%). In fact, consumers are willing to pay more for extra capacity and for products that are faster and easier to use. Sixty-seven percent stated that USB flash drives are a good value for the money, further showing that USB flash drives are becoming more widely accepted. "This survey shows that the functionality of USB flash drives is highly valued by the average consumer, particularly its ease of use," said Phelps. "We noticed that online purchases more than double when consumers buy a second device emphasizing the familiarity and comfort consumers have when using USB flash drives." Word-of-mouth (41%), such as recommendations from friends, is one of the primary drivers towards purchase. Widespread word-of-mouth is perhaps the best sign that the general public accepts a product. Judging from this perception, the USB flash drive market is poised for continued growth as more complex applications make their way onto these devices.

M-Systems - Survey Methodology
Hall & Partners conducted the survey online in February of 2005. The sample size included 415 respondents who were living in the United States, were between the ages of 15-55 and either regularly used a PC or a Mac with a USB flash drive device or were considering buying a device in the next six months. In order to ensure the population represented the entire category and was not biased, the users were not informed as to who commissioned the survey and were not asked which brand of USB flash drive they were using. Therefore the respondents may or may not be owners of an M-Systems' DiskOnKey.

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