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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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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...


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