Inexpensive Cards Offer Permanent Storage, Eliminate Computer Downloading And
Will Reach Mainstream Consumers in Drug Stores, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores
Steve Lund, Rite Aid's Category Manager, said, "Rite Aid is excited to be the first in the drugstore industry to offer our customers an affordable and convenient option for digital technology. This further strengthens our strategy for digital photography, positioning Rite Aid stores as the convenient destination for flash memory cards and digital print processing."
The first card types in the Shoot & Store line are Compact Flash (CF), SD and SmartMedia. The CF and SD cards initially will be offered in 50-picture (32-megabyte) sizes while the SmartMedia cards will be offered with 50 pictures only. By the middle of the year, SanDisk plans to distribute 100-picture (64-megabyte) cards at an initial price of $24.99, as well as add other card formats including Memory Stick PRO and xD. (The number of pictures is approximate and is based on a 1-megapixel camera in high-resolution or fine mode. The actual number will vary depending on subject complexity and camera model.)
The Shoot & Store line also includes an optional SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer, which enables consumers to show their digital images on a television set-thereby eliminating the need to use a PC. For archiving purposes, SanDisk expects to offer, as an optional accessory at the same outlets, a CD-sized plastic jewel case that can accommodate many cards to be indexed and stored for easy retrieval in the future.
SanDisk officials believe that the cards are particularly attractive to users who don't have the time or desire to save their pictures on a home computer and would like to store them in their original form, just as they're accustomed to doing with film negatives. Consumers will be able to take their cards directly to professional photo finishers or kiosks at major retailers such as supermarkets, drug store chains and convenience stores, in some cases picking up their prints after shopping.
"With this new product line, we believe that we've lowered the cost of entry for digital film and that we're bringing the benefits of digital photography to people who may have been reluctant to make the switch," said Wes Brewer, senior director of retail product line marketing for SanDisk. "Now, we believe that everyone from soccer moms to senior citizens can enjoy taking digital photos without the hassle of transferring their images to another medium via a PC."
Brewer said the cost of printing photos from digital media tends to be less than from analog film negatives. "Comparing the cost of film, processing and printing of thirty-six 4x6-inch photos to the cost of a Shoot & Store card and a similar number of digital prints, we expect that consumers will find little difference in many cases," said Brewer. "But we believe that the advantages of digital flash memory-including the durability of the medium and the opportunity for users to select only the images they want to keep and print-outweigh any minor price variations between the two formats."
Christopher Chute, senior analyst for the Worldwide Digital Imaging Program of IDC, a global market research company, said Shoot & Store addresses two underserved markets. "One consists of people who have resisted digital photography because they perceived it to be too complicated or too expensive," he said. "Another consists of users who are new to digital imaging, who have just purchased a basic, 2-megapixel camera and prefer to use it in a way that is familiar to them from their experience with analog film cameras." He added: "By targeting traditional film and processing retailers, we believe that SanDisk has leveraged the best of their technology and channel presence to provide a strong value proposition to users and retailers in the rapidly growing digital camera market. Through the low price points, we believe that SanDisk can provide a comfort level for consumers and a viable, safe means to permanently store their images."
The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including that the retail price of the Shoot & Store line of products may fluctuate and that SanDisk cannot guarantee that it will succeed to manufacture competitively the Shoot & Store line of products or that sales of the Shoot & Store line of products will contribute materially to SanDisk's revenues or profits. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.
Images can be downloaded from www.sandisk.com/Corporate/MediaKit/RetailProducts.aspx