Benq (formerly Acer Communications & Multimedia, ACM) shipped 5.5 million optical disc drives in the fourth quarter, with significant growth in DVD-ROM drives for the Xbox game console and CD-RW drives. Much like Lite-On IT, Benq cannot guarantee that first-quarter CD-RW shipments will be greater than the fourth but is certain that sales will be much better than in traditional slow seasons. It is hoping total shipments will grow 20% quarter-on-quarter.
Fourth-quarter CD-RW shipments from AOpen and Ultima Electronics (Artec) also may have hit record highs. Ultima’s output was far behind its competitors’ until it picked up Ricoh’s total CD-RW solution. The company is hoping for greater figures in the first quarter. AOpen plans to increase its CD-RW drive output from 35% to 50% or more of its total output in the first quarter.
According to the Photonics Industry & Technology Association (PIDA), global shipments of CD-RW drives will grow 14.6% to 55 million units in 2002. Taiwanese company shipments are expected to grow 21% to 17.64 million units. Taiwan’s global market share for CD-RW drives could easily jump to 31% from 21% in 2001.