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Monday, November 24, 2003
Japanese DVD drive makers outsource to Taiwan ahead of schedule


More leading Japanese DVD drive makers like Sony and Teac have speeded up outsourcing 4x DVD+RW drives to Taiwan following recent steep price falls, according to sources at Taiwanese makers.

Japanese vendors have little choice but to outsource to Taiwanese makers because the prices for 4x DVD+RW drives have fallen by 40%-50% over the past three months, said the sources.

The contract orders came much earlier than expected, they said. Taiwanese companies had expected that Japanese vendors would start releasing orders to Taiwan in the first or second quarter of next year.

The Taiwan-based Commercial Times reported that BenQ shipped about 150,000 DVD drives, including slim-type models for notebooks, to Teac from its plant in China in November. Monthly shipments could increase to 350,000 units in 2004, the paper said.

Another Taiwanese maker Accesstek, an affiliate of Micro-Star International (MSI), is making DVD-duals for Sony, the report added.

However, both BenQ and Accesstek declined to comment on the report.

Teac is the world’s second largest supplier of slim-type drives for notebooks, sources said.

According to TSR (Japan), Sony is the world’s third largest DVD drive vendor, with a 13% share of global market in the first three quarters of this year and trailing after only NEC and Pioneer.

But Teac and Sony may now find competing with NEC and Pioneer more difficult as the leaders have both expanded their monthly output of DVD drives to between 800,000 and one million units from the previous 300,000-400,000 units, Taiwanese makers said.


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