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Lite-On and Philips form world's second largest optical drive manufacturing company

This week Lite-On IT Corporation and Royal Philips Electronics announced that the joint venture between the two companies will officially take shape on May 1 of this year. The joint venture between the two companies will focus on the manufacturing and marketing of optical storage drives.

The move between Lite-On and Philips is one that industry analysts have been expecting to happen for about a year now. Last April, Lite-On took over BenQ's optical disc drive manufacturing operations. At the time, Lite-On and BenQ were partners in the optical drives business but the takeover placed Lite-On up to the number two spot in the list of biggest drive manufacturers in the world. According to the release:

PLDS will be effective in Europe from 1st of May 2007. Lite-On IT BV, the European head office of Lite-On IT Corporation, will continue to provide the same service to its customers under the new flag of PLDS. The company will handle sales, marketing, service, finance and logistics of Optical Disc Drives (ODD). PLDS will continue to sell ODD under the brand names Lite-On and HP (under exclusive license from Hewlett-Packard).

Under the new agreement between Lite-On and Philips, the new venture will be called Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS). The European Commission has fully approved of the new venture as of April 2.

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No Phillips drives for me
By R65Guy on 4/3/2007 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 5
Way back in antiquity (the late 80's) I bought a couple of $500 Phillips CD recorders for a project I was developing. It turned out that neither model actually recorded to the whole blank disk correctly, just the first 400MB or so. It would just return a "OK" no matter what. Drove us nuts that the CDs all seemed to fail. I replaced them with another vendors drives which worked correctly. I think I got a $100 credit each from a class action lawsuit years later.

I still won't knowingly buy Phillips DVD drives either. I'm sorry to see Lite-On get hooked up with them. Of course, maybe the Lite-On guys will do the engineering, not Phillips.

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By JazzMang on 4/3/2007 2:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
Weren't CD recorders going for $1000+ in the mid 90's?

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/3/2007 4:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Around 1997 CDR (CDRW came out a year later) came out forget speeds something like 1 x 2 x; in the distribution channel we sold them to the stores for around $650 or $750 - store fronts would probably added about $100. tax, and then maybe labor, bring it close to the $1,000 range. So, I would guess he had typo; late 1990's verse late 1980's. In the late 1980's uni-disks 3.5 inch size was the popular write to media.

By marvdmartian on 4/4/2007 9:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, until recently, I still had my old Sony external cdrw drive. That was a whopping 4x4x6 speed!!! Go, speed racer, go!! LOL

If memory serves, I think I paid ~$350 for that drive, likely in 1999. Amazing......

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/3/2007 4:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Lite-on has done a great job of putting out really good optical drives over the last several years, and Phillips has always been one of the top optical drives you can find. Phillips was one of the core companies in creating optical drives. However, over the course of time all the companies go through high and low quality build periods. When CD burners first came out, the first few generations were all a little problematic. You just had a really bad experience with Phillips, however odds were you'd had trouble with any company. Keep in mind a generation for CDR's was about 30 to 60 day's, when they first came out. So, if it took 6 months to fix your CDR, you'd been 3 to 4 generations down the road.

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By R65Guy on 4/4/2007 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Previous post should have read the late 90s, not 80s.

What really steamed me at the time was the attitude of the Phillips techs when the problem was pointed out. They really didn't want to stand behind the warranty, which is what lead to the class action lawsuit.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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