India has the single fastest growing mobile phone market in recent times. According to projections from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), there were 893 million mobile users in 2012. By 2015, the number of mobile users will increase to 1.24 billion. Due to the increasing demand for mobile phones, it is estimated that mobile memory card sales will also increase in the subsequent years.
The portable data storage market share in India looks set to maintain its expansion in 2013. Basically, portable data storage is any device that is used to store, carry, and share a user’s digital data. Similar to a mobile phone, wallet or watch, portable storage devices are available in different designs to satisfy different personal tastes, and are also easy to operate. In the USB Flash drive and portable hard drive segments, greater capacity and higher transfer speeds are the most desirable features that drive the market. 2013 will most likely be the year we will see USB 3.0 demand eclipse that of the older and speed-limited USB 2.0 interface.
As a market leader in India, Transcend continues to develop a variety of new and innovative storage products. Besides USB flash drives and portable hard drives, Transcend’s key product lines also include flash memory cards, solid state drives, DRAM memory modules, and its latest Wi-Fi SD card. The Wi-Fi SD card instantly adds wireless capability to a digital camera, allowing users to stream photos and videos to their smartphone or tablet wherever they are. Thanks to the exclusive, free Wi-Fi SD App for iOS and Android, users can instantly share pictures to social network websites, including Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.
The growing technological trend for consumer-oriented Flash-based portable data storage products, such as USB flash drives and SD/microSD memory cards, is to not only towards higher capacity as component costs decrease, but also towards better performance. With many different brands offering similar storage devices, consumers are now looking to file transfer speeds as an important factor in their buying decision. This awareness is a boon as it possesses the resources and technical prowess to offer markedly superior performance at a similar price as the underperforming competition. As for portable hard drives, the industry was plagued throughout 2012 by the after-effects of the Thailand flooding, resulting in a significant decline in hard drive shipments worldwide. As of Q1 in 2013, hard drive prices have fully stabilized and component production seems to have returned to pre-flood levels.
The recent influx of Internet-savvy computer/smartphone/tablet users who save their data in cloud-based storage services has spurred a shift in the portable storage industry. An increasing number of photo and music files that were previously saved on portable storage devices have been relocated to online cloud storage, where users can now view, listen, organize and share them more efficiently. However, this new storage resource does not spell the demise of the portable storage industry, as cloud storage capacity is limited and expensive. It will prevent users from storing large amounts of data online with their pictures, music and other media files must be heavily compressed before uploading to the cloud. With online storage only containing the compressed versions of their files, users will turn to increasingly high capacity external storage devices for keeping high-quality original copies of their photos, videos or audio backups. For this reason, personal storage devices with robust designs and advanced security features will gradually expand from niche product status to a more serious mainstream buying choice.
In conclusion, India is considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing developing countries, both in population and emerging markets. As more and more data/information management and other enterprise software businesses switch from paper to computer, the demand for portable data storage solutions looks set to rise. Transcend aims to follow this trend and continue bringing quality products to the market.
The author is Gordon Wu, Regional Head of South Asia, Transcend Information Inc.