Say goodbye to the Lexar brand of removable storage products. Parent company Micron Technology is “discontinuing its Lexar retail removable storage business.”
That means you won’t see new Lexar-branded USB flash drives, SD cards, card readers, or other memory products. I suspect it’ll take a while before stores sell out of any remaining inventory though, so you’ll probably still be able to buy Lexar memory products for a while.
Micron says the move is part of an effort to “focus on its increasing opportunities in higher value markets and channels,” but it’s possible that Micron could eventually sell off Lexar rather than just ceasing operations.
Already have a stockpile of Lexar memory cards? Micron says it’ll continue to provide support… for a while.
Micron may be ending its Lexar retail business, but that doesn’t mean the company is getting out of the storage business. PetaPixel’s sources indicate that Micron makes far more money from business-to-business sales, which means retail storage products had been generating just a small percent of the company’s revenue.
via The Verge
Micron continued, “We are continuing our nonremovable storage business, including one use friction-fit USB drives, card readers without an eject button, and soldered in SD cards.”
Honestly, I’ve been disappointed with my most recent Lexar purchases. I got a pack of USB sticks for imaging a bunch of computers. After maybe 40 computers, almost all of them used for recovery stopped working completely. So meh, I’m not too broken up about this one in particular.
At one point in time I thought I would never fill up 1gb of data. Now I’m close to filling up a terabyte. Maybe the AR/VR apps will require more than 64gb? Or if mobile gaming improves, it would need 4gb+ downloads? I’ve never felt that I had enough ram or storage. As the lines blur between mobile and desktop computers, I think there’ll always be a need for these storage formats.
Kendrick, my first home computer had 16KB of RAM and floppy disks of the time only held 360KB of data. I think my first HDD was 5MB. Now many wrist watches, televisions and refrigerators have more data capacity and RAM than that. As late as 2005 I bought computers with 256MB of RAM — and those were brand new computers at the time.
Two thoughts spring to mind.
1) Most people only need so many 64GB memory cards/sticks, even if they don’t cost very much (which doesn’t help Micron’s profit margins).
2) Cloud based services (streaming, backups, media storage, connectivity, etc.) really have reduced the need for off-line storage close to zero for most people.
Note I said “most people.” I know some people who read Liliputing are loath to commit their data to the cloud, and/or still prefer to stream their entertainment from local storage, but fewer and fewer people are doing these things. In fact, most people under 30 have never done these things. All my nephews and nieces just stream their music, TV, and movies these days.
I think there are three reasons I still use portable flash storage (SSDs in computers is another matter). One is the installation of OSes but that happens rarely. Another is the transfer of large files in situations without network access (e.g. conferences). The third is that I’ve told google music to cache key playlists locally so those go to a microSD card in case I’m ever in a place without data connectivity.
Number one isn’t going away any time soon, sure I could use PXE but running that over wifi isn’t possible without improved BIOSes. Number two will likely go away with ubiquitous thunderbolt 3, the same cable you use to charge your laptop can be used to create a 10gbit network faster than most USB drives you’d find. Number three I’m not sure will ever go away, there are places you just don’t get unlimited data and one of those is airplanes. The need for microSD cards might lessen though if more phones came with say 64 or 128GB of internal storage.
Does not bode well for USB drives and microSD cards.
I like having a SD card in my phone. It’s more than just about available storage space. One of the main advantages of SD Cards is they are difficult to break. I like to keep my important stuff on the SD Card, so if I smash the phone or it dies I can just take out the SD Card and be ready to go. I don’t have to worry about paying someone a bunch of money for data recovery. I realize this could be a nonissue for people who use cloud storage, but I prefer to keep my data locally. Kind of a similar situation for USB drives. I keep backups on external drives, but external spinning hard drives are fragile, and one drop on a hard floor and they’re gone. I keep a second backup of super important stuff on large USB drives.
I agree that there will probably be some market contraction in SD cards and USB drives, but I don’t think they will become obsolete like floppy disks and tape drives.
Why would you keep a fragile spinning disk within reach of you, your cat, a small child etc. Get some network storage and lock it away. Then backup that network storage to the cloud.
The number of times I’ve lost an SD card or USB drive I wouldn’t keep anything important on them.
There is some data that I don’t want connected to a network — even a home network. I would never have something like my old tax returns on anything connected to the internet. I guess I could use network storage for some things like music. It would be more convenient to have it all in one place versus having a copy on multiple machines. So far I’ve just used external drives for keeping backups. The external hard drives, SD cards, and USB drives have their own drawer in my desk, so it’s not like they’re out in the open. There is some risk of dropping them when I take them out and plug them up, but so far I’ve been lucky. If you have a dedicated place to keep your USB drives and SD cards, it will greatly minimize losing them. I keep them all in small plastic bins in the drawer.
I don’t see local storage for movies and other filmed entertainment going away anytime soon. I for one have cabinets full of VHS tapes and DVDs and still have a stack of them sitting on my office floor. I do stream some music and filmed entertainment (I have Hulu and Amazon Prime subscriptions) and spend much less on DVDs, CDs and the like but still purchase downloads of music and occasionally filmed entertainment and probably will until the day I die. It should be noted that I am well over 30, when I was a kid rotary dial phones (and in some areas operator assisted calling) and manual typewriters were the order of the day — and the only time I used a computer before the early 80’s was at work, the computers back then took up large rooms instead of being on a stick about the size of a pack of gum.
I wonder if we will see any price drops for their 128gb Micro SD cards.
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