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Tuesday, September 30, 2003
BenQ lowers optical storage drive shipment target

Suffering from the SARS outbreak in the second quarter and lower-than-expected demand from European channel distributors, BenQ has lowered its optical storage drive shipment target to 24 million units in 2003, according to William Wang, vice president of BenQ’s Imaging Network Business Group.

BenQ’s pre-adjusted projection was not immediately available, but the company projected in February that Philips BenQ Digital Storage (PBDS), its joint venture with Royal Philips Electronics, would ship 28 million optical storage drives in 2003. BenQ is handling product development and manufacturing for PBDS, while PBDS is focusing on sales and marketing.

BenQ’s recordable DVD drive shipments have been suppressed due to limited supply of pick-up heads (PUHs), but its full-year shipments should still meet one million units this year, Wang said.

BenQ’s monthly shipments of half-height recordable DVD drives will break 200,000 units in September and may reach 300,000 in the fourth quarter. BenQ is currently capable of volume producing 8x DVD+RW and DVD-Dual drives, while its 12x recordable DVD drive will be launched in March 2004 at the earliest, according to Wang.

BenQ expects to gradually replace shipments of its 4x recordable DVD drives with 8x ones starting in October, said Wang, projecting that the 8x speed should become the mainstream standard for the overall market in the first quarter of next year.

As a new entrant in the slim-type market, BenQ also expects to ship 100,000 slim-type combo drives in September, and is optimistic about meeting its one-million-unit shipment target for the line in 2003, Wang added.

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