Among all old school data storage devices such as floppy disks and CD discs, pendrive 4GB offer a lot of advantages in terms of portability and convenience. 3.5 inch floppy disks and Iomega Zip disks are still available as of late 2005, despite their declining popularity. While for many purposes it would be ideal to transport files between computers wirelessly, not all computers are equipped with wireless cards, and networks are not readily available.
Due to limited storage capacity of only 1.44 MB as well as low file transfer speed, floppy disks were losing their popularity. Today, all computers are manufactured with at least one USB port, and without a floppy drive. Nevertheless, floppy disks still find their application in old computers that are installed with old systems especially Windows 98, as these computers do not have integrated USB ports. Extension of standard floppy disks such as Imitation SuperDisk failed miserably due to bad reputation among customers.
The Iomega zip drive enjoyed some popularity, but never reached the point of ubiquity in computers. Other than that, older drives are unable to process larger sized Zip files. One has to carry an external drive along with him for file transfer. The cost per megabyte was fairly high (though admittedly cheaper than flash), with individual disks often priced at $10 USD or higher. As the storage medium material for both zip disks and floppy disks are the same, both devices encounter the problems of higher chance of failure and data loss. Larger removable storage media, like Iomega's Jaz drive, had even higher costs (both in drives and in media), and as such were never really feasible as a floppy alternative.
CD-R and CD-RW are swappable storage media alternatives. DVD and CD recorders were once popular and widely used in personal computer systems. CD-Rs can only be written to once, and the more expensive CD-RWs are only rated up to 1,000 erase/write cycles, whereas modern NAND-based flash drives often last for 500,000 or more erase/write cycles. Flash drives are more advantageous in terms of writing speed, compared to optical drives. Also, CDs are larger sized and offer less portability compared to flash drives. There is also no standard file system for rewriteable optical media; packet-writing utilities like DirectCD and InCD exist, but produce discs that are not universally readable, despite claiming to be based on the UDF standard.
Flash storage devices, compared to other storage media, are fast, high-capacity, durable, and compact. Other storage devices that are obsolete encounter the problem of compatibility with computers, hence do not have significant progress in product development. As all new computers have built in USB ports, flash drives are guaranteed to be compatible with computers, hence companies can focus on improving the properties of flash drives, such as larger capacity and higher speed. Furthermore, unlike Zip and floppies, flash memory lacks moving parts, making it ideal as a simple solution, requiring only a port to interact with a system. The popularity of pendrive 4GB may be attributed to their compact size, operating system compatibility, and their use of the standard USB interface.