It’s a (half) well known fact that SanDisk owns a lot of patents concerning flash memory and that this has been the grounds for a lot of lawsuits, arguments and whatnot over the years. Samsung alone has to pay $351 million USD a year to SanDisk in royalties, Samsung being the biggest NAND flash maker in the world. According to a korean news source and half confirmed by a Samsung spokesperson, Samsung is considering buying SanDisk. The plan is in very early stages at best and nothing has been even remotely decided yet, but considering SanDisk’s poor results in the last months it might be someone to look out for.
The question is what this will mean for the Sansa players. If Samsung buys SanDisk, the Sansa line would most likely go with it and I don’t see Samsung continuing the line if SanDisk gets fully incorporated into Samsung. Samsung doesn’t make memory cards at the time being and so it’s likely they will keep the SanDisk brand for this, however MP3 players is a different story. At such an early stage of course everything is beyond pure speculation, but if such a merging is happening it might very well mean the end of the Sansa line as it’s unlikely that Samsung will compete with itself. It could of course also mean Samsung players with microSD slots, better sound quality and other Sansa features. Again, only hypothesis’ but both a scary and an interesting thought at the same time. What do you think the result of such a merge will be?