What’s happening in the Wi-Fi memory cards business?

wi-fi-memory-cards
Few weeks ago I reported about the strange "disapearing" of Eye-Fi. A reader (thanks Petter!) did some more digging and sent me this detailed report/timeline on what's going on with the Wi-Fi card manufacturers:

We have three major Wi-Fi-card manufacturers:

Update: on November 18th Ricoh Imaging had renamed the Eye-Fi Cloud service to Keenai. It seems that existing users can still use their Eye-Fi cloud account to log in, but everything (app name and icons) are now all replaced by the new name.

Here is a timeline:

2011

  • Toshiba launched their first FlashAir. (source)

2013

April 2014

  • Eye-Fi launched theirEye-Fi Cloud service. (source)

June 2015

  • Eye-Fi closed down their third party cloud support for their cards.

March 2016

  • Treks stock price took steep dive. (source)
  • Later their CFO got questioned related to financial penal code suspicions (source), he then stepped down. (source)

27 April 2016

  • Trek suspends its stock trading.

June 2016

  • News about Ricoh buying the Eye-Fi Cloud and associated apps from Eye-Fi. Eye-Fi's card business were not to be impacted and Ricoh would give Eyefi card owners 100% continued cloud support. (source)

30 June 2016

  • Eye-Fi closed down, as previously announced, their legacy support for Pro X2 card et al. (source)

23 august 2016

  • Toshiba presents a deal with Eye-Fi which will give the next gen FlashAir cards features like "Eye-Fi Connected” support in cameras. (source 1, source 2)
  • Eye-Fi releases an update to their apps to support Toshibas FlashAir with upload intoEye-Fi Cloud - which now is owned by Ricoh.

September 2016

  • Eye-Fi suddenly linked their "Shop Now" button to Toshibas FlashAir cards at Amazon. (source)

31 October 2016

  • Trek's new CFO has stepped down after less than two months on the job. (source)
  • Ricoh have been selling Trek’s Flucards for camera control and image transfer from their own cameras, but Ricoh UK are out of stock: ”currently not available” as they write on their site. (source)
  • Trek do bundle a free service called Flucard Pro Portal for unlimited photo upload. Trek also seems to be having a close out sale and barely have any cards left in stock. And they are also selling FlashAir cards in their own online shop. (source)

Many questions remain without answers:

  • Ricoh is apparently going all-in on cloud photo storage directly from their cameras.
  • Toshiba is a huge company and they are probably planning a new card (W-04?). Will they get Eye-Fi's future business. How long will separate Wi-Fi cards exist?
  • Will Eye-Fi cease to exist in any other way other than as a trademark? Eye-Fi has removed every bit of corporate information like press releases etc from their website. (source)
  • Flucard will cease to exist as Trek seems to focus on IoT and connected medical world.
  • The other two companies left in the Wi-Fi market are Transcend and ez Share. Transcend have their own semiconductor manufacturing but their sales have been decreasing for some time. Ez Share is owned by Chinese LZeal Information Technology.
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