More of Taiwan’s notebook and mini-PC makers are bundling combo drives
into their low-end models, taking advantage of falling prices resulting
from the increasing number of players in the optical storage market, according to DigiTimes.
Toshiba, Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics (MKE), Hitachi LG Data Storage
(HLDS) and Quanta Storage were previously the four major players,
accounting for about 80-90% of the global sales of combo drives,
However, contract manufacturing prices for combo drives have declined
sharply in recent months as more Taiwanese makers of optical storage
drives, including Lite-On IT and BenQ, have entered the field.
With the number of players rising and competition intensifying, the
average contract manufacturing price for combo drives has fallen to
around US$60-65 recently from US$75-80 in the first quarter of this
year, sources said.
Meanwhile, the retail prices for 24x and 32x combo drives in the
domestic market have fallen to NT$1,900-1,990 from NT$3,300-3,500.
The falling contract manufacturing prices have helped Taiwan’s combo
drive makers sharply drive up their shipments, sources said.
Quanta Storage managed to ship 500,000 units in the third quarter,
compared with 300,000-400,000 units in the previous quarters, while
quarterly shipments at Lite-On IT hit the 100,000-unit mark for the
first time during the July-September period.
BenQ has landed substantial OEM orders from Philips as well as from a
first-tier Japanese notebook maker, sources said.