Due to the continuous launch of faster-speed optical storage devices, lower-speed CD-RW drives are faced with inventory pressure and their retail prices have gone down below US$38, DigiTimes has learned. In Kwanghwa market, Taiwan’s largest retail market for computers and peripherals, the price of 16x CD-RW drives from brand names such as Philips, Ricoh and Ritek’s Ridata has gone down below NT$1,300 (about US$38), cheaper than that of a 16x DVD-ROM drive, and about NT$500 more than that of a 52x CD-ROM drive.
There has been a persistent price gap between CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, with a 52x CD-ROM drive priced at around NT$1,000; a 16x DVD-ROM at around NT$1,800 and a 16x CD-RW at around NT$3,000, according to retailers. But the competition between optical-storage drive makers, resulting in the sooner-than-expected launches of 40x and 48x CD-RW drives, has caused inventory pressure for slower-speed CD-RW drives.
Notably, cheap CD-RW drives are likely to impact the market share of DVD-ROM drives and could become the device of choice for the time-being, according to retailers.