The following information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
SANDISK AND SONY EXPAND THE SCOPE
OF THEIR MEMORY STICK COOPERATION WITH A NEW CROSS LICENSE
Relationship Between The Two Companies:
SanDisk and Sony to Further Expand Memory Stick World
SUNNYVALE, CA, June 16, 2003, Tokyo
Japan, June 17, 2003 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:
SNDK) and Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) today announced that
the two companies have signed a cross licensing agreement.
This agreement enhances the close relationship that SanDisk
and Sony have built over the last two years since their
initial September 2001 collaboration agreement to offer
Memory Stick media. The initial agreement was followed by
a January 2003 announcement highlighting joint SanDisk and
Sony development of Memory Stick PROTM media designed to
realize new levels of performance, such as real-time recording
of high-resolution moving images.
SanDisk holds a right to manufacture Memory Stick PRO media,
based on the January 2003 announcement. The cross licensing
agreement enhances the relationship and expands the cooperation
between SanDisk and Sony to cover various Memory Stick products.
This agreement will allow SanDisk to manufacture and sell
Memory Stick that include Memory StickTM, Memory Stick DuoTM,
Memory StickTM with Memory Select Function and Memory StickTM
I/O cards under the SanDisk brand. SanDisk will begin to
manufacture Memory Stick media under the new cross licensing
agreement in the second quarter of 2003.
Based on the agreement, SanDisk and Sony will further promote
Memory Stick throughout the industry respectively. The Memory
Stick format will gain additional support to pursue its
position as an industry standard and provide users with
a wider choice of media and compatible products.
Eli Harari, SanDisk president and CEO, said, "We value
our close relationship with Sony and the enhanced scope
of cooperation that this announcement signifies. The manufacturing
license is important to SanDisk's customers because it will
allow us to supply Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and Duo
products to both our retail and our OEM customers. Sony
and SanDisk share a common vision for exciting new digital
audio, imaging and video applications as well as the latest
mobile phones and other multimedia-rich devices that require
Memory Stick media."
Teruaki Aoki, Corporate Executive Vice President of Sony
Corporation, said, "This announcement signifies the
broadening and natural progression of the relationship between
SanDisk and Sony. We are very pleased to have SanDisk manufacture
Memory Stick products to help further expansion of Memory
Stick's connected world among a variety of compatible products
and meet growing market demand. SanDisk's flash card expertise
and high quality manufacturing will help enhance the strong
position of Memory Stick as a global standard for digital
Memory Stick products enjoy a share in excess of 25% of
the total market for removable flash storage cards*. SanDisk
has been selling SanDisk-branded Memory Stick products since
2001 and is a co-developer with Sony of Memory Stick PRO.
Since its market introduction in September 1998, Memory
Stick has evolved from storage media for still images and
computer data into broad networking media for recording
diverse content, including copyrighted material, and sharing
it among the widest possible variety of products. To meet
growing consumer needs, Memory Stick has been adopted in
more than 600 models and across more than 60 product categories.
Worldwide cumulative shipments of Memory Stick media reached
39 million units, and shipments of Memory Stick compliant
products reached 40 million units as of April 2003.
SanDisk Corporation, the world's largest supplier of flash
data storage card products, designs, manufactures and markets
industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and
audio storage products using its patented, high density
flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based
in Sunnyvale, CA.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video,
game, communications, key device and information technology
products for the consumer and professional markets. With
its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line
businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading
personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony
recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $62
billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003.
*Source: International Data Corporation,
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. The companies
assume no obligation to update the information in this release.
All trade names are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of their respective holders.
For more information or images on SanDisk and its products,
Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/
Memory Stick official web site: http://www.memorystick.com.