JAPANESE ELECTRONICS MAKER Sony has announced the first USB flash drives aimed at the mobile market.
The new two in one flash drives have both a standard USB port and a microUSB port for plugging directly into a phone or tablet device.
Designed for devices with Android's On The Go (OTG) connectivity, which is standard in most phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, the drives will work without any additional drivers or apps, although Sony is offering a File Manager app as part of the deal.
Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities and with the giddy thrill of three cap colours, the devices are made of metal with an integrated dust cap. The full sized USB port is limited to USB 2.0 however, which seems like a missed opportunity.
"Consumers want to let a friend see the photo they just took or share a video easily with as few steps as possible," said Sony Electronics director of consumer media marketing Viviano Cantu. "These new drives combine convenience, peace of mind and performance and are perfect for mobile multi-tasking."
If you're excited at the prospect, you will be able to pick up the new drives from January 2014 priced at $19.99, or £12, $29.99, or £18, and $62.99, or £38, respectively. If you think that sounds like a lot for a USB thumbstick, then you'd be right. These drives don't offer anything over and above a regular USB flash drive apart from the extra socket.
We had a quick trawl at a well-known shopping website and picked up a name brand 32GB flash drive and an OTG cable for under £15. We can only consider the mark-up of well over 100 percent as a convenience fee for a microUSB port and these drives as an effort to part smartphone users from their cash. µ