The worldwide optical storage market continues to grow. According to IDC, this market is expected to reach 250 million drives in 2005. Fueling this growth are the continued storage aftermarket (CD-RW, 3.5in. magneto-optical, and combo drives) and the popularity of the dual-drive PCs.
``Affordable CD-RW drives with the utility to record low-cost CD-R media will replace CD-ROM as the dominant removable storage technology,'' said Wolfgang Schlichting, research manager for IDC's Optical Removable Storage program. ``Their increased functionality and their expected low prices will enable these drives to quickly absorb the current markets.''
IDC believes -- on the strength of CD-RW's success -- the CD/DVD-Rec segment will be the leading growth technology between 2001 and 2005. According to IDC, CD/DVD-ROM represents approximately 72% of the market's unit volume and 52% of its value. In the next five years, CD/DVD-ROM volumes will decline dramatically -- showing signs of saturation. As a technology that is quickly becoming a commodity, CD-ROM will remain important in low-cost and dual-drive PCs.