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128GB phone tech is coming, says SanDisk

Andrew Williams



SanDisk says it is working on storage tech that will enable both 128GB phones and 128GB microSD cards.

Talking to TrustedReviews, SanDisk product marketing manager Ruben Dennenwaldt said that micro-storage capacity of “128GB is certainly something we’re working on”, and that the technology needed to produce 128GB phones will “absolutely” be readily available within the next two years.

Although vague about exactly when the prerequisite tech will arrive, Dennenwaldt says SanDisk is “making very good progress in the next capacity point.”

Full-size 128GB SD cards are already available – Sandisk’s own 128GB Extreme SD card sells for just over £100 – but getting the size down to a level that will fit into microSD cards and today’s slim phones is “a significant challenge.”

Dennenwaldt explains, “for microSD, from a technology perspective, the maximum that can be done at this point is 64GB, purely because of the form factor.”

He added that the miniaturisation of flash storage used in phone memory “is pretty much the same challenge” as squeezing yet more storage into the thumbnail-size microSD form.

SanDisk is commonly regarded simply as a maker of memory cards, but it also produces a significant amount of the NAND flash wafers that go into the storage of phones, tablets and computer SSDs.

Dennenwaldt sees increased internal storage, including to the 128GB level, as “something consumers want, consumers demand.”

He says, “The massive amounts of data being created, people just need higher capacities.”

Will 128GB phones prove popular?

At present, the largest-capacity phones available have 64GB of internal storage – including the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4.

However, there has been limited demand for such high-capacity phones that also have a microSD memory card slot.

For example, UK retailer Clove cancelled plans to stock a 64GB Samsung Galaxy S3 in late 2012 as “the number of pre-orders that we received did not meet the minimum required to bring stock into the UK.”

A company likely to be among the first to successfully pioneer an ultra-high storage phone is Apple – it was also the first to range a 128GB tablet, introducing the 128GB iPad in February 2013.

It has also never offered expandable storage in any of its iOS mobile devices.

The question is whether sufficiently tiny high-capacity storage tech will be ready for the iPhone 5S, due to launch later this year in September.

SanDisk teased that it has a big announcement to unveil on 22 July. Could such super-storage be what they have to show off?

Next, read our Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 comparison feature


July 16, 2013, 8:40 pm

Because dumb fucks are brainwashed with their cloud BS.


July 23, 2013, 11:12 pm

C'mon this is absolutely ridiculous!!!

Sure, it might take a while before we start seeing 128 GB microSD cards. Quite frankly, I don't know what's going on in that field of research. But then another thought crosses my mind; why bother when there is fullSD? Why not equip cell phones with not one but two hot swappable fullSDXC slots? That is fully doable while maintaining a slim phone, if that's what's desired....

When it comes to internal storage, pardon me but f* you!!! Toshiba has had 128 GB SoC e-MMC modules in full-scale production since 2010 and before that there were other possibilities as well. Also, at the beginning of this year, Toshiba has offered a newer generation of these chips using 19nm lithography ... and you are talking witihn two years, are you for real laddie!!!

No, something stinks with this article and I don't know whether it is because of lacking research on the writer's side or SanDisk's philosophy ...


July 24, 2013, 5:49 pm

pantech phone can support 1tb via sd card

Niyi Aguaze

August 14, 2013, 5:21 am

Yes. Thank you. There are DAPs out there that can take two 64GB Micro SD Cards instantly. Even the iBasso DX50 is ready to accept a Micro SDHC and SDXC Card up to 2TB easily. That means someone is holding some pretty awesome storage tech from us.


August 14, 2013, 2:37 pm

Why not allow phones to have full sized SD cards? Big as phones are now a slot on the outside with that big ass card would be hard to fit in?

Onyx Panther

August 31, 2013, 4:22 am

Actually, for the record, all products that can except microSDXC cards will be able to handle cards up to 2TB. Therefore, the iBASSO DX50 device is no different than any cellular smartphone out there that natively supports the microSDXC standard. The problem at this point isn't the devices, but the cards themselves. Also, for the record, nether Samsung nor Toshiba have anything currently available beyond 64GB in the microSD form factor, at least not in the USA.


September 4, 2013, 5:08 am

Samsung Galaxy S4 is not available in a 64gb internal memory option from any retailer in the US, UK, continental Europe or Australia. The i9505 model with 4G LTE (which is sold as the only model everywhere except Asia) is not available in a 64gb internal option anywhere in the world. Samsung have not produced any - they do not exist.

Sean Mcintier

September 11, 2013, 1:10 am

Actually my friends dad has one. They're very easy to get a hold of online. I'm in Australia btw.

Tomasz Kucza

September 17, 2013, 7:24 am

It's a shame Compact Flash is not used anymore - it could fit a proper SSD drive with even 512GB or 1TB. For tablets it could be perfect.


September 25, 2013, 12:30 am

It's all about money. By making everyone change to another media and format they make everyone buy all new crap to fit it. I loved the old compact flash cards. I even made a custom one as a project. I took a bunch of 32GB cards and chained them together using a tiny controller with Raid options. So it was as if I had 32 32gb micro's. The only issue was the pain the arse it was to make all the connections.... Working with that type of wiring inside that tiny space was crazy. And I had to use micro wires that I could barely see. My eyes still hurt from making that darn thing LOL. Only draw back was only people with a custom driver and a CF port could write or read it. But still it was nice. I ended up putting it into my girlfriends Nexus tablet. Had to open it up and install it inside. It works fine but it's too big and jelly bean has no idea how many gig's there are on it LOL. It says letters and stuff where the drive space is. Gotta love it LOL. Point is if someone who isn't even rich can do something like that then they can sure in hell do that. 1-2TB CF cards easy!


October 8, 2013, 6:08 pm

It's rediculous to say there is no demand for a 128 GB device. 64 GB devices do not hold my music collection - currently on an 80 GB IPod. As soon as a big beast arrives I ditch the IPod - it's as simple as that.


October 11, 2013, 8:27 am

Bull, Samsung have never produced a 64gb model of their s4. Claiming the S4 comes in 64gb is just plain fraud


October 13, 2013, 3:28 am

Yep agree, My Note II with 64gb micro sd card is also full most of it podcasts I subscribe to, Rest is my own music and apps/games.
There is definitely a market for 128gb devices/cards regardless of which brand you like. I had iphone before this but ran out of space.
Also I don't like this cloud crap relying on net access just to play my music, Eats through data allowance in days then have to wait another month for it to renew, Otherwise get charged a small fortune per MB cloud is a joke!


October 17, 2013, 8:17 pm

They were a bit too thick for tablets. The SD cards would be perfect.


October 17, 2013, 8:19 pm

Or live in countries where internet is relatively cheap.

Cup o Joe

October 21, 2013, 7:04 am

actually SSDs can be as thin as 5mm.

jay jay

October 21, 2013, 3:47 pm

i would like it to save my batman season and a pack of movies. oh yeah


October 30, 2013, 4:24 am

yes they have but its only available in there home country of Korea


October 31, 2013, 7:48 pm

Every year, the big companies love to suck $1k+ of your money when you buy the newest PoS phone that offers a difference that is comparable mostly by quickly superseded hardware/&software.
Likewise, it suits ISPs too well to charge you for cloud storage of your own music and movies (which 90% of you lot downloaded illegally, anyway).
There has not yet been ONE single phone that I would attribute the word "smart" to.
And massive storage is HIGH on the list of requirements to make it to the level.
I bought my first out of necessity, but I will not be giving out any more of my money till I see that list finished.


November 10, 2013, 3:21 am

Anyone with a Microsoft Surface Pro would love a 128 gb microSD card.

Ho Bo

November 21, 2013, 1:01 am

you're like the guy who poopoos on anything. To imagine we have gotten to a point that we can even communicate via a cell phone and add all the features and technologies that exists on a modern day cell phone. I don't get your rant. Just don't use any cell phone dude. Maybe it's not the phone that is ready for you, but you're not ready for the phone.

brian prince

November 25, 2013, 11:17 pm

People such as yourself who live in a major metropolitan area that is saturated with an unavoidable broadband radio frequency lacking any dead spots sure have it easy in life.... Cloud Storage doesn't always work so well once you're past either the broadband coverage area, or your usage limit.


December 26, 2013, 2:43 pm

Demand might be small, but it is certainly present. In my case, I have a huge music collection stored in FLAC. I simply cannot get a player that will store it all. Right now I have a 32 GB on which I store a shuffle list and a 64 GB on which I have a selection of other music. Not fun.

Of course, aside from large capacity phones and cards I also need a FLAC playing device (modern Android will do) with a sufficient database size and DAC. Am I really the only person who wants this thing?


January 6, 2014, 9:34 pm

you dont need a 128 gb storage on your phone , what are you going to listen to all of 128gb in a single day . you just dont need it youll have stuff and crap on iut you will never use .


January 23, 2014, 10:26 pm

i really want a 128Gb micro sd so i can use it in a nifty microdrive so i can play steam games on my mac

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