- The market for optical drives is really tough, as it is defined by tremendous quantities at very high cost pressure. Simple DVD drives don't cost more than a few dollars, and even a decent DVD burner can be purchased for less than $40.
At the same time, every new PC or notebook comes with at least one optical drives, so the amount of optical drives always equals the amount of systems sold plus x, where x stands for enthusiast users who want dedicated devices for reading and writing discs, or those who adopt new technology such as Blu-ray rather early.
We are talking about 90 million systems only for Europe in 2007 (SonyNEC Optiarc numbers). Clearly, talking about modifying components, the production other items within the supply chain makes a great difference for these guys, even if we're only talking about few cents per drive.
But there is light on the horizon for the industry: With the victory of Blu-ray over the HD DVD, the standard for the future is now set. However, the real breakthrough hasn't happened yet, and SonyNEC Optiarc believes that it won't happen this year despite the fact that Verbatim promised to increase production capacity for BD recordables, and despite the mobile market showing more traction on Blu-ray reading, DVD-writing combo drives than the desktop market....