Jimmy Hsu, Taipei; Christy Lee, DigiTimes.com [Monday 3 September 2001]
Taiwan-based Lite-On IT, the third-largest optical storage drive manufacturer in the world, said that it shipped more than 700,000 CD-RW drives in July, giving the company a chance to become the world’s number one CD-RW drive producer this year. In the first half of 2001, the company’s CD-RW drive shipments totaled 1.34 million units. With new orders and its latest 24x CD-RW drive line, Lite-On IT expects to ship 3.45 million CD-RW drives in the second half, for a total of 4.8 million units for the whole year.
Currently, the world’s top three CD-RW drive manufacturers are LG.Philips, Sony and Lite-On IT. In June, all three companies shipped around 500,000 units, but coming into July, Lite-On IT’s shipments soared to over 700,000 drives, exceeding the other two rivals. Lite-On IT indicated that the major shipment growth was due to the new orders from international PC heavyweights. It would not confirm if the orders were form Dell Computer, saying only that top ten PC companies have all been clients.
Lite-On IT pointed out that in addition to CD-RW drives, it also shipped 6.72 million CD-ROM drives in the first half, thus becoming the second-largest producer worldwide, next only to LG.Philips. Given that CD-ROM drives are now gradually being replaced with DVD-ROM, Lite-On IT predicts its CD-ROM drive shipments in the second half may drop to 5.3 million units, but it still might beat LG.Philips to first place.
The optical drive maker said that the 16x CD-RW drive remains its primary product line for the moment, but it will gradually enhance the shipment ratio of the latest 24x CD-RW drives to 20%. The company’s 24x CD-RW drives mainly adopt Mediatek’s chipsets.
To diversify its product portfolio, Lite-On IT will also launch 8x slim-type DVD-ROM drives and 32x CD-RW drives in November.