In February 2011, 32GB microSD memory cards had fallen in price from their introductory high of $199 to just under $70; today, the cost of a 32GB microSD card has fallen to a new low: $56.99.
This price is for the 32GB SanDisk Class 2 microSDHC flash memory card at Amazon.com. Sold by BlueProton via Amazon, this card is compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets, as well as late-gen Windows Mobile smartphones, and – reportedly – the Samsung Focus Windows Phone. These cards can also be used, usually with SD adapters, with many digital cameras.
The same microSD card is also available directly from Amazon.com for the price of $61.54 with free shipping.
Price(s) subject to change at any time.
Since they began shipping last April, 32GB microSDHC memory card prices have fallen steadily. At release, the SanDisk 32GB microSD card – the first available for purchase in the U.S. – was $199. By August, the price had fallen to around $130, and the next month dipped below $100.
Today, SanDisk’s 32GB microSDHC card has fallen below $70. Amazon has the card for $69.56 plus shipping.
Most current Android smartphones support 32GB microSDHC cards, as do many 2009-2010 Windows Mobile phones. The Windows Phone 7 OS supports 32GB cards, but only one currently-available Windows Phone, the Samsung Focus, has a memory card slot, and its utility has been the subject of some debate. Many existing and upcoming Android tablets also support this memory card capacity.
The Kingston 32GB microSD card, the only other such card we recommend, price remains higher at over $100 with shipping.
You may have noticed that among the first crop of Windows Phone 7 smartphones that only the Samsung Focus has a memory expansion slot. The reason for this is that the new Microsoft mobile OS doesn’t treat flash memory cards like older Windows Mobile or current Android smartphones do.
Because Windows Phone 7 employs memory cards differently than most mobile devices, we’ve posted a page in the Help Center to answer questions you might have about the Focus and its special memory card handling.
Read: Samsung Focus microSD Memory Card Help
I was very interested to read Paul Thurrott’s post today regarding Windows Phone 7 and flash memory cards. I wanted to share the highlights with you as this will likely be of great interest to those looking forward to grabbing one of the first Windows Phones released next month.
In the post, Mr. Thurrott confirms that Windows Phone 7 will – despite some previous indications to the contrary – support memory cards microSD and microSDHC). But that support is somewhat unusual in its implementation. Rather than being adjunct storage – i.e. something you can use,remove and/or upgrade on a whim like an external hard drive on a PC or an Android phone’s memory card – Windows Phone 7 will add the space on a microSD card to primary device storage. Put another way, the OS will see the additional storage no differently than the internal storage, so files will be stored in internal memory and/or card memory as needed. Removing the card, therefore, would result in missing files, likely causing system malfunctions (missing apps, app data, music, etc.). To remove or replace the card, you’ll have to perform a hard reset, restoring the device to factory specs.
To make things even more interesting, the microSD cards – according to the post – won’t even be readable on a PC if you were to remove it and try to access the information stored there via a card reader. This suggests either encryption or a non-standard file system.
I can’t imagine why such a setup would be desirable, but Mr. Thurrott says details will be forthcoming. I can imagine that this will cause problems, particularly when users want to expand storage after a few months’ use and are met with system errors only a hard reset can correct. Perhaps there’ll be some backup and restore solution via the Zune PC software which would allow for painless memory card upgrades?
Apparently, Microsoft has also mandated that hardware manufacturers that do opt for memory card slots must position them under the battery, presumably to curb the notion of the cards being hot-swapable.
M. Nichols, Products Editor
Prices have fallen quickly on the new 32GB microSD flash memory cards. A few weeks ago, the 32GB microSDHC card from SanDisk was priced at over $170. Today, you can get the card for under $100 at Amazon.com: it’s currently selling for $91 with free shipping.
We don’t expect this price to fall much more in the near future. This may be about as good as it gets until there’s downward pressure from newer cards.
Modern Windows Mobile and Android phones are compatible with 32GB microSDHC cards. iPhones, of course, have no memory card slots.