According to DigiTimes, the intense price competition for the global market of optical disc drives (ODDs) in 2004 will slacken this year because Japanese players have forced out most of Taiwan's second-tier makers and almost all of China's makers...
, according to Lite-On IT president Danny Liao at press conference on March 4. Liao also indicated that he expects the Japanese players to reduce their own production and rely on OEMs instead. Lite-On IT shipped 8.05 million half-height (H/H, for desktop PCs) and about four million slim-type (for notebook PCs) DVD burners last year, ranking it a global second and sixth respectively, Liao indicated.
NEC, Pioneer and Matsushita Electric (brand name Panasonic) are currently the only three Japanese players that produce drives for own brand sales and/or OEM clients, Liao noted. As the three have been concentrating resources on developing HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc next-generation products, they are expected to increasingly reduce own production, Liao said.
This year, Lite-On IT will offer value-added models aiming for better margins, but shipments may be small, Liao indicated. The company expects significant shipment growth this year, with average gross margins falling to 18%-20% due to OEM price drops, Liao pointed out.