Lite-On IT, the world’s largest maker of DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, said it expects to ship 40 million optical storage drives next year, including three million “combo” CD-RW/DVD-ROM drives. The company’s optical drive shipments rose 6.7% sequentially to 8.26 million units in the third quarter, of which 20% were CD-ROM drives, 20% DVD-ROM drives and 60% CD-RW drives. Lite-On IT expects shipments to continue to grow in the fourth quarter. However, due to falling product prices, it estimates revenues will be flat on the third quarter.
The company has been trying to increase CD-RW drives as a proportion of total shipments since the fourth quarter of last year. In the first quarter of this year, CD-RW drive shipments comprised 68% of the company’s total shipments and 64% of the revenues.
Since the second quarter of this year, the company has also been aggressively strengthening DVD-ROM drive shipments. It reported cumulative shipments of more than seven million units for the first 10 months of 2002 and expects to ship more than one million DVD-ROM drives this month. The company said that demand for DVD-ROM drives will pick up along with demand for DVD+RW and DVD-RW drives. It expects 20% growth in its DVD-ROM drive shipments next year.
Regarding the decreasing profit margin of CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives, Lite-On IT said it will try to ship more higher-margin combo drives. Boosted by new orders, it expects to ship three million combo drives next year.