Panasonic's 16 GB SDHC will have a lofty price tag

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

You will soon be able to replace your old SD memory card with a 16 GB version, at least if your portable device supports the newer SDHC specification. However, the bragging rights to such a card won't be cheap: Panasonic today said that the card will carry a suggested retail price of $320 when it hits retail shelves in November of this year.

At today's standards, the card has a massive storage capacity (formatted capacity of 15,443 MB), which will allow you to store about 5000 10-megapixel pictures or 4000 MP3 tracks. However, the per-Gigabyte price is very high: According to Pricegrabber.com, the average 8 GB SDHC memory card currently sells for just $110.

If two 8 GB cards just don't cut it and you are waiting for a 16 GB card, then we recommend that you keep an eye on Toshiba, which announced last week that it will release such a card sometime in October, as well. Back then we estimated that the 16 GB card should be available for about $200 through U.S. online shops. If Panasonic's announcement is any indication, then our estimate was simply too optimistic and these cards will be substantially more expensive, at least initially.

32 GB SDHC could be available as early as January of next year, which leads us to believe that these 16 GB models will come down in price quickly.