Flash memory maker SanDisk aims to boost sales of memory cards to store music and video on their mobile phones by tailoring their cards to highlight the offerings of individual network operators.

Memory cards, which have gained wide adoption as a means for storing digital camera photos, have yet to take off in mobile phones, despite the fact that more than 70 percent of mobile phones sold this year are designed to use such cards.

SanDisk believes it can work with mobile carriers to raise awareness of the possibility of storing music and video that is downloaded to phones, while helping carriers by leading consumers to discover hard-to-find phone features.

We're really working with the operators in a new way, Eliot Broadwin, head of SanDisk's strategic marketing, told Reuters in a telephone interview as SanDisk prepared to launch the custom-built cards at the Mobile World Congress fair.

They have a relationship with the subscriber that is very unique, he said. The industry is really educated by the network operator.

SanDisk, the world's biggest maker of flash memory-based data storage cards, warned earlier this month that this quarter's sales would disappoint as the industry is battered by a slump in memory chip prices and the global recession.

Although most phones shipped today have a removable memory card slot, the number of buyers choosing to buy such a card and use that facility is negligible.

We're really just scratching the surface, Broadwin said. We all see a great opportunity to do a better job.

Broadwin said SanDisk could work with operators in a practical way to split the costs of the memory card, for example through operator promotions offering free cards in connection with services.

Consumers, who often lack the information to make the best use of their phone's features, could discover those possibilities by inserting a SanDisk card that would prompt them to explore those features, he said.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Christian Wiessner)