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August 6, 2003
Samsung and Sony Strengthening Cooperation through Memory Stick Business
Samsung Electronics to expand line of Memory Stick compatible products and begin in-house Memory Stick media production from third quarter 2003
Seoul, Korea, Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2003 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (hereafter "Samsung") and Sony Corporation (hereafter "Sony") today announced that an agreement has been reached whereby Samsung is licensed by Sony to manufacture and sell Memory Stick media. Under this agreement, Samsung will begin in-house manufacturing and sales of Memory Stick media from the third quarter of 2003.
This agreement strengthens the cooperative relationship existing between the two companies beyond the basic agreement reached in August of 2001. Under the 2001 agreement, Sony worked with Samsung to add Memory Stick compatibility to a range of Samsung products including DVD players, mobile phones, PCs and televisions.
In addition to manufacturing Memory Stick compatible products, the current license enables in-house manufacturing of Memory Stick media by Samsung. Once production begins in the third quarter of 2003, Samsung will commence bundling of Memory Stick media with compatible products as well as separate media sales under the Samsung brand. In addition to the product lines agreed on with the 2001 announcement, Memory Stick will be employed in Samsung's new product categories. With the expanding range of Memory Stick compatible products, Memory Stick's "Connected World" is gaining momentum.
Sony believes that by strengthening cooperation with Samsung and accelerating the incorporation of Memory Stick slots into Samsung's wide range of product categories, Memory Stick's "Connected World" will grow to offer customers a wider range of cutting-edge products.
Through the strengthening of their cooperative relationship, Samsung and Sony aim to expand the Memory Stick business and secure Memory Stick's position within the memory card market while providing customers with a wider range of products.
Comment from Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Jong-Yong Yun:
"Together with our current expansion of Memory Stick compatible products aimed at expanding the 'Memory Stick World,' Samsung expects the current licensing contract to result in a synergy effect which will further strengthen the flash memory business. Samsung will continue offering new lifestyles and value to Memory Stick customers while introducing next-generation mobile media products suited to a ubiquitous environment. We also look forward to the further cooperation with Sony in related applied technologies"
Comment from Sony Corporation President and Group COO Kunitake Ando:
"Memory Stick is a network media allowing seamless connection of content and services between PCs and various digital consumer electronics. Samsung Electronics is a major semiconductor manufacturer and its manufacture and sale of Memory Stick media will accelerate the growth of Memory Stick throughout the world. Together with media, the expansion of Samsung's lines of digital cameras, mobile phones and other Memory Stick compatible products will enable Memory Stick's 'Connected World' to expand allowing customers to enjoy a broad range of content and services through a diverse array of devices. The current agreement further strengthens the cooperative relationship between the two companies and I am convinced that it will strengthen the Memory Stick format's position as the global standard within the memory card market."
About Memory Stick:
Since its market introduction in September 1998, Memory Stick has evolved from a storage media for still images and computer data into a broad networking media for recording diverse content, including copyrighted material, and sharing it among the widest possible variety of products. As of April 2003, worldwide cumulative shipments of Memory Stick media had reached 40 million units and shipments of Memory Stick compliant products had reached over 40 million units.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, and digital convergence technology. Samsung Electronics employs approximately 75,000 people in 89 offices in 47 countries. The company is the world's largest producer of memory chips, TFT-LCDs, CDMA mobile phones, monitors and VCRs. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units: Digital Media Network, Device Solution Network, Telecommunication Network and Digital Appliance Network Businesses.
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.