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Print 16 comment(s) - last by Shawshank.. on Apr 13 at 8:03 AM

BenQ gives up its optical disc manufacturing business to focus on financial troubles

BenQ's last batch of optical storage products, specifically DVD writers, were rated at the top of the charts in performance under the manufacturing processes of the company. However, a recent announcement states another leader in optical disk manufacturing has offered to take over the manufacturing process.  Lite-On, (in)famous for manufacturing optical disc drives for others such as Sony Computer Electronics and AOpen, Inc., also as markets its own self-branded products.

Lite-On's takeover of BenQ's optical disc drive manufacturing operations is said to be an alliance between the two companies which will give Lite-On the market share of 27% to push itself up to the number 2 optical disc drive manufacturer in the world. BenQ's press release claims:

As part of the alliance, Lite-On IT will acquire BenQ's storage-related assets, including BenQ's ODM customer portfolio and the rights to use BenQ's technology portfolio. Lite-On IT will also receive order commitments on BenQ-branded storage products.

Lite-On has not always had the best optical storage devices in the industry, while many of BenQ's recent products have been fairly bleeding edge; especially recently when many reviews sites found BenQ's use of the Philips Nexperia chipset to be advantageous over any other optical storage manufacturer's products in performance and reliability. It will be interesting to see whether Lite-On continues to follow BenQ's manufacturing processes or if it will implement its own to the BenQ line of optical disc drives.

Also reported today by Digitimes.com was news that BenQ may be selling off its LCD monitor division "due to the low margins of the business" as stated by Commercial Times, a Chinese financial newspaper. It doesn't look like BenQ is in the best financial shape as they had reported losses of about $185.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. This was the result of restructuring costs after taking over Siemens' handset division, also according to Digitimes.com. Ever since the takeover BenQ's revenues have dropped as much as 13% in a particular month with decreasing sales.


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liteon #2??
By xsilver on 4/11/2006 10:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
who's #1?
pioneer? toshiba? panasonic?

its really a surprise to me, liteon are bloody everywhere




RE: liteon #2??
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 4/11/2006 11:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
BTC I think.


RE: liteon #2??
By Belzer on 4/12/2006 7:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
No, BTC sold it's ODD business to Foxconn a while ago and BTC was quite small.

HLDS (Hitachi LG Data Storage) is no. 1 for half-height drives, now followed by Lite-On and in the third place is TSST (Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology). These three together have about 80 % of the market for half-height drives.


RE: liteon #2??
By Patrese on 4/12/2006 9:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
What about NEC? I have the impression that NEC sells a lot of DVD-RWs both in retail and OEM... I got a ND-3550A and it's pretty good.


RE: liteon #2??
By Belzer on 4/12/2006 10:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
Unless the numbers have not changed since last year NEC should now be no. 4 when counting all half-height drives and no. 3 if you only count half-height DVD writers.
However NEC ODD business should be joined with Sony's this month. ...and Sony lets Lite-On make most of its drives so perhaps NEC, Sony, Lite-On and Benq will be all the same soon...


RE: liteon #2??
By Rock Hydra on 4/12/2006 10:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm...I would have said Plextor, I don't know if that follows some other group under some of the above listed categories.


Hmm....this could be interesting.
By Rock Hydra on 4/11/2006 8:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
Could this mean Lite-On is one of those companies that is going to change its image and become a higher teir competitor? I've used Lite On products for years and all my drives work great and as well as when I got them. So, I expect to see good things come of this.




RE: Hmm....this could be interesting.
By ncage on 4/11/2006 9:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
Umm i don't know...benq has made one of the best dvd burner for quite some time. lite-on dvd burners are just ok. I might pick up a benq burner before they no long exist.


RE: Hmm....this could be interesting.
By Stele on 4/11/2006 9:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Interestingly enough my experience with LiteOn's drives have by and large been very good, while the reverse is true for BenQ. Granted that the BenQ drives are not the current, top-of-the-line Nexparia-based ones, but even then their reliability wasn't great compared to some other major brands. Let's see if we can get the best of both worlds with this acquisition.


First Sony...
By Athlex on 4/11/2006 10:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, Lite-On already took over optical drive manufacturing for Sony (except for BD-ROM?) a while back. Not a lot of players left in this game...




RE: First Sony...
By Googer on 4/12/2006 1:17:41 AM , Rating: 2
ASUS drives are also made by Lite-On.


RE: First Sony...
By Belzer on 4/12/2006 7:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
Asus DVD writers are Pioneer clones although I believe Asus handles the manufacturing itself.


Bad News
By n7 on 4/12/2006 9:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
The is bad bad bad :(

BenQ has made the best DVD burners out there for the last couple years, or at least since the DW1620.





RE: Bad News
By PandaBear on 4/12/2006 12:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about burner, but the HLDS 48x cdrom that came with mine and my dad's DELL wouldn't read a damn thing without retry (slow). I end up so sick of it that I sell it on ebay and get something else.

LiteOn made the best CDRW back in the days. I heard NEC is the best quality wise. How is BenQ compare to NEC? They weren't that great back in the CDRW days.


By hhorng on 4/12/2006 11:53:35 PM , Rating: 2

I work for BenQ in Taiwan HeadQuarter and so shocked to see the headline here. I like to comment that the headline is totally wrong to deliver the message.
in this strategic deal of BenQ/Lite-On, BenQ would still focus on branding business as usual by scale up with the cooperation of Lite-On manafacturing. more products still are on the way thru PBDS which is joint-ventured by Philips and BenQ for the driver technology for years.
again, we would continue to provide best product and service to our customers as usual.
thanks for the understanding.




By Shawshank on 4/13/2006 8:03:44 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you are a really high ranking executive, your are just being fed what the higher ups thinks you should be fed with.

So i'll take your comments with a huge barrel of salt


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads











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