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Iomega Announces New 100MB PocketZip Drive

Iomega Corporation, a global leader in data management solutions, today announced the Iomega® PocketZipTM 100MB drive for handheld consumer electronics devices. A dramatic new low-cost portable storage standard for a new generation of digital audio, video, and imaging devices, the PocketZip 100MB drive leverages Iomega’s proven PocketZip technology and offers two and a half times the storage capacity.

The new PocketZip 100MB disks will retail for as little as $10 each, compared with 32MB solid state memory cards priced at about $60-more than three times the capacity for one sixth the price, or an 18-to-1 cost savings advantage for consumers using the Iomega PocketZip 100MB disk.

“We expect Iomega’s new 100MB PocketZip drive to be a sensational product for the next generation of portable digital devices,” said Bruce Albertson, president and CEO, Iomega Corporation. “We’ve already proven the PocketZip drive’s reliability in the toughest arena there is, digital audio players. Now we’re giving consumers enough storage capacity to record one or more full CDs in virtually any format on an easily swappable and sharable 100MB disk. That’s an irresistible deal for consumers and a compelling reason for original equipment manufacturers to migrate from expensive solid state memory cards to the PocketZip platform.”

Dramatically increased magnetic storage capacity is a continuing trend in the storage industry. The PocketZip 100MB drive, which lowers the cost of removable storage to as little as ten cents per megabyte, is expected to be the catalyst for a new generation of portable devices from Iomega and OEM partners. “Devices that were impractical with solid state memory costs of $1.50 to $2.00 per megabyte become eminently practical when consumer costs with PocketZip disks fall to a dime per megabyte,” said Albertson.

Iomega’s plans include the introduction this fall of a new 100MB model of its popular HipZipTM digital audio player. Consumer products that stand to benefit from lifting the constraints of price and capacity include digital audio players, handheld MPEG-4 digital video devices, PDAs, and megapixel digital cameras. Business and home office devices that can benefit from a built-in PocketZip 100MB drive or accessory include PDAs, laptop computers, LCD projectors, and printers. And because PocketZip disks are rewritable and do not need to be physically flipped in the drive to read their full capacity, they are an ideal format for editing and updating large files.

While the new PocketZip 100MB platform offers greater value to consumers than ever, it retains the key features and benefits of the original Iomega PocketZip 40MB disk:
* Durability: PocketZip disks are protected from scratches by a durable metal shell. They easily shrug off the bumps and bangs of portable use that can ruin CDs.
* Affordability: PocketZip disks have always been the economical alternative to CompactFlashTM, SmartMediaTM, and Memory Stick® solid state memory cards. Iomega’s new PocketZip 100MB disks are now about 15 times cheaper, driving the cost of removable storage to as little as $0.10/MB.
* Portability: PocketZip disks are matchbook sized and weigh less than half an ounce, making them the truly pocketable portable solution. PocketZip 40MB disks are also readable in 100MB PocketZip drives.
* Security: PocketZip disks are serialized to integrate with popular digital rights management (DRM) systems from Microsoft, InterTrust, and others.

With Napster and the music and publishing industries working to reinstate online copyright protection for musicians and authors, copyright issues promise to be a much bigger factor in future purchase decisions regarding digital audio players. Consumer enjoyment of downloadable music will increasingly depend on owning digital audio players that use convenient built-in digital rights management (DRM) solutions, such as Iomega’s HipZip digital audio player.

The Iomega PocketZip platform represents one of today’s best DRM-enabled solutions because its serialized PocketZip disks are integrated into popular DRM systems, including Microsoft’s Windows MediaTM Rights Manager and other DRM technologies (support for InterTrust’s DRM has been announced and is in development). PocketZip disks enable secure content to be downloaded and locked to the disk itself, an option not available with CD-R and most solid state memory card formats.

With PocketZip technology, consumers can enjoy downloading and listening to both free and secure music or spoken word content on any compatible player, much as they can today with their collection of CDs. The music industry gains the assurance that secure music is protected and that licensing options are available for copies. Consumers gain the ability to build affordable, portable digital audio collections, making PocketZip disks the format that allows consumers to enjoy the music they want at the price they want to pay.

Iomega’s PocketZip 100MB drive and disks will be available internationally in the third quarter of 2001. Products based on the new drive are expected to be available for holiday sales.

About Dave Conabree

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