Shipments of cellphones that have removable memory — also called slotted phones — will increase to 990 million handsets by 2013 from 685 million in 2008, according to Strategy Analytics. Some 70 per cent of all handsets shipped today have removable memory, the research company said. Its latest study also shows that the trend for the higher capacity microSDHC format continued, with that format growing from 3.5 per cent of slotted phones in 2007 to 22 per cent in 2008, and to an estimated 54 per cent by the end of this year.

Steve Entwistle, the research company's vice president of strategic technologies, said in a news release that the introduction of new storage formats has slowed since the domination of microSD. But he believes new developments will be essential to increase capacity beyond 32GB and to improve read/write speeds above 100mbps.” One emerging format is  microSDXC. However, Stuart Robinson, director of the the research company's handset component technologies service, said in that release that if the cost of NAND Flash memory continues its rapid decline manufacturers may decide to expand the amount of embedded memory in some models rather that put in a slot. “It is possible that we will see more high-end phones with significant embedded memory and no slot,” he said.