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Friday, August 08, 2003
Asustek announces DVD-Dual drive

Taiwan-based Asustek Computer presented its own-brand 4x half-height DVD-Dual drive at a product launch event, according to DigiTimes,saying it expects to ship 10-12 million optical storage drives in 2003, compared to six million units sold last year.

The new DVD drive, DRW-0402P/D, uses Pioneer’s pick-up heads (PUHs) and NEC’s chip sets, and enables 4x writing speed with DVD-R discs, 2x with DVD-RW, 4x with DVD+R and 2.4x with DVD+RW. It also allows 16x writing for CD-R and 10x for CD-RW discs, according to the company.

Initial monthly shipments of the DRW-0402P/D, which comes with a suggested retail price of US$8,999 (about US$257), will be about 50,000 units, while the company targets shipping 300,000 units for the full year, the company said.

An 8x DVD-Dual drive is also to be launched this November, the company said. Asustek shipped about four million optical storage drives in the first half of this year, with half-height CD-ROM, CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives accounting for about 50%, 40% and 7-8% of its total optical storage drive revenues in the period, respectively. The remaining 2-3% came from sales of its external and slim-type optical storage drives, the company said.

Although the company is currently focusing on the retail market with own-brand products for its optical storage business, it expects to adjust the ratio of own-brand and contract manufacturing businesses to 6.5:3.5 in the second half of this year from 8:2 currently, the company said.

CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives will form the majority of Asustek’s optical storage drive shipments in the second half, with DVD-ROM shipments expected to reach 100,000 units in August compared to 70,000-80,000 in July, the company said.

Besides the half-height market, Asustek has also made great efforts to explore the slim-type optical storage market, and expects to ship slim-type combo drives in considerable amounts in the first quarter of 2004, the company said.

Claiming the fifth place in the worldwide half-height optical storage drive market based on shipment volumes in the first half, Asustek said it is optimistic about seizing third place by year-end. Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS), Lite-On IT, Samsung Electronics and BenQ are currently the top four suppliers, according to Asustek.

Asustek currently leads optical storage drive sales in Taiwan, Russia and the Middle East, it added.

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