CD-ROM shipments to exceed 83 million

Posted on December 01, 1998

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CD-ROM shipments to exceed 83 million

By Zachary Shess

A recent study from Disk/Trend Inc., in Mountain View, CA, concludes that CD-ROM drives will continue to dominate as the leading optical distribution medium. The research firm estimates that CD-ROM will account for 83.2 million of the 94.2 million optical disk drives shipped this year.

However, DVD-ROM shipments are expected to surpass CD-ROM shipments in 2001. The report forecasts that DVD-ROM will account for 79.7 million of the 144.3 million optical drives shipped. CD-ROM will fall to second place, with 46 million drives shipped. Fueling DVD-ROM`s rise will be the convergence of increasing content and lower prices, says Disk/Trend president Jim Porter. The overall optical drive growth rate should slow from 38.3% in 1997 to 12.4% in 2001.

Despite today`s comparatively low shipment totals, Porter believes the foundation is being set for DVD-ROM`s eventual wide-scale popularity. "This is the first year for significant shipments of DVD," says Porter, "and it will continue to grow as an increasing number of systems vendors use them as standard products. If you look at the upper range of systems being shipped today you`ll find a good share are starting to use DVD-ROM drives, and I expect that trend to continue."

High-end read/write optical drives (more than 4GB) are also expected to grow dramatically by 2001. With advanced magneto-optical technologies beginning to surface in 1999, vendors such as TeraStor and Seagate`s Quinta subsidiary are expected to propel the market for high-end optical drives from 2,400 units in 1998 to more than 1.4 million in 2001.


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