SanDisk unveils new iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad

SanDisk today announced the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive, the company’s first USB Flash Drive designed specifically for iPhone and iPad.

“According to IDC, nearly three-quarters of all images are now captured on smartphones and tablets,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk, in a statement. “With this significant increase in mobile-generated content, consumers are looking for easy ways to manage it all. In fact, our research shows that 82% of U.S. smartphone users find transferring photos, videos, music and other files to be very important to them. We created the iXpand Flash Drive to offer consumers a quick and safe way to move their favorite content between devices so it’s available when and where they want it.”

The iXpand Flash Drive is a powerful, yet simple-to-use solution that quickly transfers photos and videos from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac or PC — all without cables, Internet connections, or bandwidth limitations. In addition, it maintains the original photo or video resolution quality.

The full-featured iXpand sync app is exceptionally intuitive, creating a seamless user experience. It launches when the iXpand Flash Drive is plugged into an iPhone or iPad and can be configured to automatically sync photos and videos from the camera roll to the drive. In addition, users can store their favorite movies on the iXpand Flash Drive and instantly play them directly from the iXpand drive on their iPhone or iPad. Most popular movie formats, including non-native Windows-centric formats, like AVI & WMV, are supported — saving time, effort and complexity of converting video formats.

The iXpand sync app also enables cross-platform encryption, offering consumers the ability to transfer and access their sensitive files from iPhone, iPad, PC and Mac computers. Using the iXpand sync app, files can be password-protected on the drive directly from an iPhone or iPad and then easily decrypted on a Mac or PC and vice versa. The iXpand provides users with peace of mind that their files are always secure, while offering flexibility to protect data on the go.

Users can also back up contacts and transfer them to another device.

The iXpand Flash Drive is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and is compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini running iOS 8 or iOS 7. The iXpand Flash Drive was designed with a unique flexible Lightning connector so it can connect directly to iPhone or iPad without first removing the protective case. The drive features a premium metal exterior which adds to its durability. The iXpand Flash Drive also comes with a two-year limited warranty.

The iXpand sync app is available on the App Store for iPhone or iPad.

The iXpand Flash Drive will be available in the U.S. at Best Buy stores and at Starting November 16, Best Buy stores will exclusively offer the 32GB iXpand Flash Drive at an MSRP of $79.99. The iXpand Flash Drive is available now at, and is coming soon to select retailers globally. The 16GB and 64GB capacities will be available at $59.99 and $119.99, respectively.

Source: SanDisk Corporation


    1. Ease of use.
      Lug around a MBP, or a USB drive…

      Photo on/off your iPhone to the guy standing next to you, email the large file, or use the USB drive.
      Or maybe you have zero/limited internet access, or since Apple restricts you on the video size in email/text

      have a 16gb iPad, long trip and want to watch a ton of movies? (or forgot to load up a movie while you are on a plane)
      lug around MBP as storage, drag it out, plug in iPad, sync, put MBP away… or just whip out the or the USB drive.

      Completely unnecessary? no.
      Useful? yes.
      Everyone needs one? no.

      1. BTW, the same argument was used against the Camera Connection Kit.
        It’s handy to have, used by many for different reasons. But it’s not for everyone.

        Some people are never separated from their MBP and iPhone/iPad and never see the need to use anything else.

        Forgot to put in the above post, what if all you have is a desktop (iMac etc) and an iPad/iPhone… no laptop of any kind. the USB drive is cheaper than buying a laptop JUST to transfer files when out of the office/home.

    2. Because with iPhone you’re limited to the amount of storage space you got when you purchased the phone. There’s no way to expand on that. And things like apps, music, and video can take up that space very quickly. Sandisk is offering a way for iPhone users to expand their mobile storage a bit.

    3. iCloud????

      Isn’t Sandisk a little late to the party?
      If you are coming from Pc or Android, it is understandable that you still need to lag bits and bobs for expansion, but if you are an Applelite, then you already have had that functionality for years!

      1. not everyone uses iCloud.
        not everyone has all the latest Apple macs to use Continuity. I don’t, and i’m not going to spend $2-4k *just* to have it.

        Get files off a winbloat PC to your iOS device, where there is zero internet/wireless. (or not allowed on the wireless)

        If *you* don’t see the need for this.. fine. Others do.

    4. I could use this right now in the school I work at.

      It is a pain in the ass to get iMovie content authored by students on their iPads to the teacher’s computer for review, grading. Requiring multiple services, it is less than ideal and not “quick”.

      This would make it great if not for the fact that iPad 2,3,&, 4 seem to be excluded from the supported devices..

  1. It’s for when you’re out and about and not near your computer. Also makes for a simple way to move files to computers that you don’t sync your iOS device with. Or to move files to some one else’s iOS device. Beats emailing images or videos.
    Seems that you could load up a bunch of movies, say for long road trips, to have available to play on an iPad without having to worry about either running out of space on the iPad or needing to have a decent network connection in order to stream.

  2. Neat idea, but 64Gb maximum capacity, seriously?
    When you can buy 128Gb flash drives for less than the cost of the 64Gb drive talked about here, then they’re just taking the piss, quite frankly.
    I’d even say a maximum 256Gb, then 128, then 64Gb.

        1. Camera Connection Kit?

          From Apple: “You can put your SD card into the SD card reader in the Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader.”

          Sorry for the giant image above. Wasn’t expecting it to do that.

    1. They do seem kinda high priced, and we have no idea how badly the software sucks. I’m just assuming it does, like that for the LaCie Fuel. Great hardware, lousy software (Seagate Media Connect).

  3. My question is: WHY did this take so long?! I have never understood why flash drives could not be used to move files to and from the iPad. Even this solution isn’t complete, but it’s SOMETHING.

    1. Same here. This can be a very useful solution to long standing needs on iOS devices. I like both the hardware connection functionality AND the encryption. I could see these becoming popular, if not immediately copied by the competition.

  4. If you have all new gear then AirDrop is a pretty good way to move files. But just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to xfer an audio file from a 2011 MBP to iPhone6 (to send via LTE) and AirDrop wasn’t happening. This might do the trick if it’s not just limited to photos and videos.

  5. In one corner we have corporations with practically monopolistic power, unshackled by the motivating forces of the free market, who by and large worry only about the next quarterly report and its own shareholders.

    In the other corner we have the US Government made up of members who are often corrupted by outside influences and/or are simply inept, or even with the best of intentions can cause unintended negative consequences even with the best of intentions, who worry about the next election cycle.

    It’s a crappy situation on both sides, and where you fall is probably which one of these you feel is the lesser evil.

    I’d rather it be a freer market, where the ISPs have A LOT more competition… The only corporation I trust is one who is motivated to work for my money. Without a market like that you need some kind of artificial counter weight, but I completely understand the fear of government meddling with the Internet. I vote for all the regulation we need, no more, no less. Anyone completely on the side of one or the other without a heavy dose of skeptical pessimism is a fool.

    1. The problem is that corporations are not motivated to “work” for your money.

      They are motivated to increase shareholder value. PERIOD. Apple seems to be the rare corporation, but they are also the most profitable, so they are something of an anomaly. Part and parcel to increasing shareholder value is a strong desire to part you with as much money as often as possible with the smallest investment they possibly can. (See Comcast, AT&T, etc)

      And while on principle I agree with what you say about ISP competition, it is statistically improbable, if not impossible without regulations open the pipes. (which was tried before and failed)

      Personally, I’d trust the government to enact regulation before trusting comcast to do the right thing. Regulation can be changed with political will, with oversight and transparency it gets done right the first time) Consistently and repeatedly they have shown contempt and outright hostility to their customers because they can. None has their speed in their areas, so bend over and take it. Ask netflix, ask some of their customers, watch the viral video of the guy trying to cancel service and how hard that alone was, now extrapolate..

  6. Reading through the comments makes me wonder if any of you ever browse through Amazon. There are bazillions of SD card readers and other connection kits for hard drives and such.

    The idea of having a Lightning connector on a thumbdrive isn’t new either, and while the price of this SanDisk is too high now for what it is, that’s usually the pricing model for SanDisk. Expect pricing to come down tremendously… to the point where buying a thumb drive with a Lightning connector will be just slightly more expensive.

  7. The article implies that one of the driving factors for this form factor was photo taking.

    I asked myself, “why would I use this over iCloud?” “Why would I want to manually copy my pictures to all my devices?”

    It’s still cool, though! Good for those that don’t have a Mac.

    1. Some of the best photos i’ve ever taken were very far away from any internet service of any kind. I don’t think i’ll ever rely on any “cloud”. It’s just so much easier to plug my cameras and SD cards directly into my MacBook Pro anywhere i happen to be.

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