Apple is sure to launch a media tablet soon. New evidence is based on Apple’s SD card adoption with new MacBook Pro models. Seems like a long throw? Apple adopts SD because it wants to build a MID or media tablet. The evidence is actually quite convincing says SanDisk blogger Savolainen.

PCMCIA cards

Laptop computers since history have been supporting PCMCIA slots. These slots made it possible to extend your sometimes limited laptop computer with extra functionality, like soundcards, GPS radios, hard drives or add-on solid-state memory. The PCMCIA slot has advanced in the past years into the faster 2.5GBit variant called ExpressCard. The card uses a 26-pin 34mm wide connector. There are two ExpressCard sizes: 75mm by 34mm and 75mm by 54mm.

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From ExpressCard….to SD.

Technology devices like smart phones, cameras, media players and even laptops (in the form of netbooks) have increasingly become smaller and smaller. The majority of devices are simply smaller than the ExpressCard itself. Thus, they are not able to support card. Thus, for extending your device with extra memory many of these devices now use the smaller SD card. Its size is 32mm x 24mm. It has a micro variant which is only 11mm x 15mm. A standard SD card can hold up to 4 Gb, however SDXC (extended capacity) cards have been released which move the maximum up to 2 Tb (that’s 2000 Gb). The format has become highly popular and is widely suppported.

So Apple adopted SD in their MacBook Pro’s

Finally, Apple has started to add SD card support into their MacBook Pro line up. The MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″ laptops have an SD card slot.  The MacBook Pro 17″ still has an ExpressCard slot. What is the reason for Apple changing their mind all of a sudden and abandoning ExpressCard’s? Because Apple thinks the SD card adoption in mobile internet devices (MIDs) and netbooks is so ubiquitous and its advances in memory are going so fast, that this is going to make it the only standard for removable storage in these devices. Did you hear that? The only one in. No hard drive, but just a removable solid state drive (SSD) in the form of a high-capacity SD card.

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So why is this important?

The reason they are implementing SD is because of its high adoption in tablets and MIDs! But Apple does not have any tablets or MIDs right now! It seems highly likely according to Savolainen, that within the next 12 months, Apple will be announcing an Apple media tablet or MID and a netbook. A tablet is supposed to be as thin as possible, thus they will not have CD, DVD or Blu-Ray drives at all. These devices will all solely rely on SD cards for storage.

SanDisk is well-positioned to benefit from greater adoption of the standard. If other laptop manufacturers, envious of the internal dimensions taken up by an ExpressCard slots, move over to the SD Card standard so that they can make their laptopsthinner and lighter, then SanDisk, Toshiba and Panasonic should all benefit.