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Monday, November 18, 2002
Maxell keeps pace with expanding DVD market

Maxell Corporation of America, an engineering and marketing leader in recordable media products, today announced that it has shipped more than 3.5 million recordable DVD discs in the U.S. since Q4 2001. Maxell's dominant market share makes it the premier DVD media supplier among more than a dozen major vendors.

Maxell's 3.5 million DVDs shipped encompass the full range of recordable DVD formats, including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R, DVD+RW and camcorder DVD-R and DVD-RAM discs for use in Hitachi camcorders. Of these, DVD-R is the clear leader, accounting for approximately 70 percent of the 3.5 million total. The dominance of the DVD-R format is driven largely by the popularity of DVD recording in the Macintosh market as Apple emerged as an early supporter for the DVD-R format.

According to Gartner/Dataquest, Apple will account for two-thirds of the 600,000-plus DVD recorders expected to be sold this year and has shipped 500,000 Macintosh computers equipped with DVD recorders to date. Maxell expects that other DVD recordable formats will start to gain market share with the increasing popularity of the +R/+RW format in the PC market primarily supported by HP and wider availability of new DVD-R/-RW recorders, primarily supported by Pioneer.

"Recordable DVD is poised to become the next great digital technology success story," said Rich Gadomski, Maxell's director of marketing. "It took ten years for CD recording technology to become commonly accepted, but DVD will accomplish that feat in a fraction of the time. Recordable DVD is uniquely positioned with broad appeal for both professionals and consumers in a format that offers universal compatibility across camcorders, computers and video players."

While Maxell's 3.5 million-disc milestone represents a brisk start for recordable DVD technology, according to Gadomski, this is just a prelude to an expected explosion of recordable DVD technology demand starting in the final quarter of 2002 and extending into next year. Gartner/Dataquest predicts that DVD drive shipments will reach 3.9 million units in 2003, a 600 percent increase from this year. Gadomski cited three key factors that will continue to drive recordable DVD demand: the increasing awareness of DVD recording capabilities, compatibility with the exploding market for DVD playback devices, and a steady decline in pricing for both media and hardware, resulting in a truly affordable recording solution for the mass consumer and professional markets.

With new product offerings, including DVD-RW and DVD+RW rewritable formats, as well as several software vendors providing and promoting PC-based applications that make it easy and inexpensive to produce DVD content, industry promotion of recordable DVD is driving customer awareness of recordable DVD technology. The move to recordable DVD is a logical next step for the millions of users who routinely burn data and audio compact discs using Maxell CD-R and CD-RW media. Aiding in this transition from CD recorders to recordable DVD is the tens of millions of DVD video players. The current generation of DVD recorders has focused on improved playback compatibility, minimizing or eliminating the earlier interchange issues.

DVD recordable technology has proven to be an ideal solution for storage applications that exceed the capacity of CD-Rs such as video content. Microsoft has already embraced DVD technology by including DVD enhancements in Windows XP and releasing software tools that make it easy for developers to utilize DVD content embedded within applications. DVD-enhanced PowerPoint presentations are increasingly popular for distributing corporate presentations on DVD discs, enabling global organizations to produce a single presentation usable worldwide by taking advantage of DVD's multi-language capabilities. Additionally, the random-accessibility and menu structure of the DVD format allow customers to view only the sections that are of particular interest.

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