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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • DVD-ROM Under Supply Continues as Demand Rises in September
  • October 15, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- The undersupply in the DVD-ROM market is continuing as system makers speed up order placements.
    Pick-up heads also are in short supply.

    However, industrial observers said a race for a production capacity increase could lead to overproduction in the second half of 1999.

    DVD-ROMs have been in short supply for the past two to three months, due largely to underproduction of pick-up heads by Japanese suppliers.

    The situation grew worse last month, when demand for the products started to pick up.

    A spokesman for Royal Information Electronics Co., Ltd., a local electronics maker, said global demand for DVD-ROM hit 250,000 to 300,000 units a month between January and June this year.

    Yet in September, this figure increased four- to five-fold to 900,000 units, mainly due to a vigorous increase in OEM orders by PC makers.

    He expects that robust demand will continue until the end of this year, with monthly deliveries estimated at 1.2 million units.

    The shortage of DVD-ROMs, however, is expected to mitigate soon, as the supply of pick-up heads increases.

    In addition, executives from Acer Peripherals Inc. said demand for DVD-ROM in the retail market is relatively insignificant, and that this fact could bring a bottleneck to the industry.

    The Acer executives estimate that DVD-ROM demand in the retail market could fall below 10 million units in 1999, a far cry from the 80 million reported this year.

    A breakthrough in the bottleneck is not likely, they said, until the market price falls to US$50 from the present US$80-plus.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Wed Oct 14 17:52:28 1998 PDT