2008 has not been a particularly positive year for the Blu-ray drive market which has seen sales fall by 11% in volume and 1% in value comparing November 2008 against 2007, according to a Gfk report.
The Blu-ray Drive market is one that is predominately associated with upgrading or enhancing your PC. The ultidisk drive market still remains dominated by the DVD-RW drives which hold a 92% share for November 2008 and have remained consistently above 90% for the past 23 months.
In November 68% of the DVD-RW drives were internal, which one can assume will be used to go inside a Desktop Computer. However for a long time now Desktop Computers have been falling out of favour with consumers who are opting for the mobility of a Laptop or Netbook which are harder to upgrade. Subsequently sales of Desktop Computers have been in steep decline which has not helped the once resilient upgrade aspect of the Multidisk Drive market and therefore is a possible explanation for why the internal versus external share is wavering towards external DVD-RW. Furthermore when looking at the types of Optical Drives Laptops have pre-installed, 81% them came with a DVD-RW in October 2008 and 86% in Desktops.
Sean Fellows at GfK comments, "With such high levels of DVD-RW already installed in Desktop and Mobile Computers it is little surprise that sales of the UK DVD-RW market has fallen by 14%."
Nonetheless there could be still hope for Multidisk Drive manufacturers in the form of the high definition drive segment. Combining sales of the HD DVD and Blu-Ray technology Drives, this segment managed to hold a 4% volume share and a 16% value share in November 2008. This growth has helped to ward off market declines to a small extent. When looking at the PC market, it possible to see that there is still on opportunity for the upgrade market as only 1% of Desktop PCs have a high definition drive pre-installed.
What is even more promising is when one looks at the premium which has to be paid for a Desktop PC with a high definition drive, it is less expensive to purchase a Desktop PC and Internal High Definition Drive separately. Taking the average price of a Desktop with a HD Drive pre-installed in October at £955, the average price of a HD Drive in the same month at £133 and a Desktop PC with only a DVD-RW pre-installed at £403. The consumer would make a saving of £419 - enough to buy another computer! Even if the consumer didn?t know how to upgrade their Desktop, they could purchase an external drive for £192 and still make a saving of £360.
As a result there still may be hope for this market. However as the differential between computers with a HD Drive and those without continue to be eroded over time, the Standalone Multidisk Drive market is only set to further decline. It will not be until Blu-ray becomes widely adopted by the consumer that we will see this market decline ease off.