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Sony to leave disc drive market, nears end of restructuring

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Old 08-25-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Sony to leave disc drive market, nears end of restructuring

Sony to leave disc drive market, nears end of restructuring

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Sony Corp. will abandon the optical disc drive business, nearly completing a restructuring of money-losing divisions it initiated after suffering huge losses in fiscal 2011.

Sony Optiarc Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that produces CD and DVD drives used in personal computers, will cease operations by March, sources said Aug. 24.

Most of the 400 or so employees at home and abroad will be let go through an early retirement program.

Sony, which posted a net loss of 457 billion yen ($5.8 billion) in fiscal 2011, has been trying to rebuild its operations by focusing on core divisions, such as games and image sensors.

It has been reviewing unprofitable divisions, selling its chemical business and scaling back a cellphone factory in Sweden.

The withdrawal from the optical disc drive business is one of the final steps in the latest round of restructuring efforts.

The company is looking to cut its global work force by 10,000 by March and has already shed thousands of jobs. It plans to ask for early retirements at sales and administrative divisions to meet that goal.

Sony Optiarc holds a 10-15 percent share of the global market for optical disc drives, with tens of billions of yen in annual sales. But it has reported operating losses due to a shrinking market for notebook computers and intensifying price competition with overseas rivals.

About 90 employees work in Japan, mainly in development and engineering, while 300 work overseas. Some employees will be reassigned to other posts.

The company was established in 2006 as a joint venture with NEC Corp. It was turned into a full Sony subsidiary in 2008.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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Unbelievable. Sony shutters Optiarc only 6 years after founding it (in 2006). I guess selling blu-ray wasn't as profitable as some posters thought.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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When I first read that title, I thought the title was a prank at first.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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Unbelievable. Sony shutters Optiarc only 6 years after founding it (in 2006). I guess selling blu-ray wasn't as profitable as some posters thought.
My Sony Optiarc BD burner is one of the best pieces of equipment that I own.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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Wonder who will be the last man standing in the optical disc drive business?

Plextor exited the business a few years ago. Now Sony. (Plextor made the best cd-rom and dvd-rom drives back in the early-mid 2000's).

No idea if LG and Samsung are still making any optical drives.

Many other recently manufactured "brand name" dvd-rom drives (ie. Phillips, HP, etc ...), seem to be rebranded Lite-On optical disk drives.


If I had to guess, Lite-On may very well be the last man standing.

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Old 08-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Hmmm ..... Lite-On as the king of the declining market in optical drives?

Sorta like a buggy whip manufacturer at the dawn of the automobile era.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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Wow that's kinda hard to believe. At least the people getting laid of get the benefits of 'early retirement.'
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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For the next generation of the Sony Playstation, wonder if it will even have a bluray drive in it.

If it does have a bluray player and Sony is not manufacturing bluray drives anymore, wonder who will manufacture such a drive? Lite-On? Samsung?
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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For the next generation of the Sony Playstation, wonder if it will even have a bluray drive in it.

If it does have a bluray player and Sony is not manufacturing bluray drives anymore, wonder who will manufacture such a drive? Lite-On? Samsung?
This is only referring to PC drives.
Increasingly their Vaios arent even coming with DVD drives.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
For the next generation of the Sony Playstation, wonder if it will even have a bluray drive in it.

If it does have a bluray player and Sony is not manufacturing bluray drives anymore, wonder who will manufacture such a drive? Lite-On? Samsung?
The drives that Sony Optaric specializes in are slim notebook versionshttp://www.sony-optiarc.us/

Some of my favorites quality wise Hitachi-LG, Toshiba-Samsung, Lite One all make disc drives. Oddly My Sony PC is not using a Sony made drive.

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:06 PM   #11
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This is only referring to PC drives.
Increasingly their Vaios arent even coming with DVD drives.
Yes Sony Optiarc specialize in slim notebook drives. Since most Notebooks do not have optical drives I can see why they are getting rid of this division.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:12 PM   #12
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Increasingly their Vaios arent even coming with DVD drives.
Optical disk drive (cd/dvd/bluray) may very well be useless for many people who don't use it for movies, music, video games, etc ...

For many years during the 2000's, my dvd-rom drive was largely inactive. (Though I used my separate cdrom drive a lot, for ripping my music cds and installing/playing some video games). I only used my dvd-rom drive a few times for installing a video game which was on a dvd-rom, and a few times copying a few movies (The Matrix, and some Star Trek Movies). I ended up deleting the movies, since they took up too much hard drive space in those days. Easier to just watch them on the standalone dvd player. Even to the last day when this particular computer finally died, the dvd-rom drive was hardly used much at all.

Before 2011, I only had a small number of dvds which I rarely ever watched, which could fit onto a shelf on my bookshelf.

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #13
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The slowdown in the PC industry and fierce price competition from foreign companies is highlighted in this Reuters article as two of the reasons for the division closure:
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/0...8JP0LC20120825

FYI- There are over 20 optical drive manufacturers currently.

Last edited by TowerGrove; 08-25-2012 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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Some of my favorites quality wise Hitachi-LG, Toshiba-Samsung, Lite One all make disc drives.
These days I rarely ever see LG or Samsung drives, whether at big box stores or OEM retailers (ie. the really disorganized computer places that stock all kinds of less popular stuff).

I wouldn't be surprised if Lite-On ends up abandoning the optical drive market too, if Microsoft stops using them as their supplier of dvd-rom drives for the Xbox.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:29 PM   #15
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FYI- There are over 20 optical drive manufacturers currently.
How many of these "brands" are just rebranded Lite-On drives?
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