SanDisk Expands, Purchases Msystems

Dennis Faas's picture

It seems major industry acquisitions are becoming pretty common this summer.

Popular MP3 player producer SanDisk recently announced that it has purchased Israeli-based Msystems for a reported $1.55 billion, a move that could expand SanDisk's interest in storage beyond the lower-end digital market.

Although it hardly has the name power of Apple, SanDisk is the dominant maker of removable flash storage cartridges. The California-based company is perhaps the strongest producer in the (almost) iPod-free 1GB player and under range.

Msystems -- which was once awkwardly named M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers -- is known for its production of non-removable flash cartridges. Obviously, SanDisk's acquisition of Msystems allows it to cover both sides of the MP3 storage market. (Source:

The purchase by SanDisk might be a way for it to rectify certain development issues that have plagued recent releases. In late March, the company disappointed many techies when it released its latest wave of players without promised U3 technology, which gives USB flash drives the ability to launch certain applications and transfer settings and passwords from PC to PC.

SanDisk's U3 technology has been delayed until the third quarter, and clearly it hopes the merge with Msystems will help launch the anticipated wares. (Source:

Clearly, SanDisk has big plans for both U3 and Msystems. It delayed U3 in March because of reported interests in launching the technology on a gaming platform. It is unclear what that platform might be (Microsoft, Apple, or perhaps independent) or what role Msystems might play in this development. (Source:

This is the second significant storage market acquisition in recent months, with Micron Technology purchasing Lexar Media in June.

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