SanDisk today announced a flash memory card that can be restricted to work only on certain handsets.
“Network operators can now freely distribute preloaded and downloaded content on removable memory cards, while restricting the accessibility of such premium content to only their network subscribers. This valuable content protection service is made possible by enabling memory cards to authenticate user credentials via data on the SIM card,” the company said.
The card itself is remotely manageable by the user’s wireless carriers using industry-standard methods from the Open Mobile Alliance. Carrier partners may be announced next month at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona or soon after that, with the cards reaching availability by this summer, SanDisk spokesman Mike Wong said.
There may be other uses by content companies or handset vendors, but initially the sales focus is only on network operators, Wong added. He acknowledged there could be some end-user backlash about premium content being locked-in, but that such functionality is what carriers want.