While Taiwan is set to inherit CD and DVD outsourcing from the lagging Japanese disc maker Taiyo Yuden, Taiwanese manufacturers CMC Magnetics and Ritek are primarily banking on the high-def format, Blu-ray to boost its performance and production shares.
As you may recall, Taiyo Yuden recently reduced its monthly output from 110 million units to 65 million units as the demand slows for CDs and DVDs. As a result, Japanese disc companies are gathering steam for a different strategy. This effort involves the fine tuning of production for more up-and-coming formats like triple and quadruple layer BDXL discs.
In the meantime, Taiwanese makers are not only handling the CD and DVD outsourcing, but they are aggressively pursuing the opportunity to become major industry players for Blu-ray through the expansion of 25 GB and 50 GB Blu-ray units. The country’s dual-layer Blu-ray shipments could already surpass 35 million units as early as next year. Moreover, Taiwan is poised to become the world’s largest BD maker by accounting for fifteen to twenty percent of the dual layer BD market. The single layer Blu-ray market produced by Taiwan will also outdo the combined Blu-ray capacity of Japanese heavyweights like Panasonic, Sony and TDK.
The fact that Japan holds the most important Blu-ray patents does not slow down CMC Magnetics or Ritek. The two companies were certified in September by the Blu-ray Disc Association. Additionally, the Taiwan-based disc manufacturers have less expensive material and operating costs, due in large part to Japan’s ongoing dilemma with an inflated yen exchange rate.
So what does this manufacturer shift in the disc market imply? It will display what’s sure to become a unique relationship between the optical media industries in Japan and Taiwan. They are not only business partners with mutual interests when it comes to outsourcing, but they are also competitors in cornering the Blu-ray market.
Ritek is an electronics corporation founded in 1988 that specializes in CD, DVD and Blu-ray products as well as flash memory and display screens. CMC Magnetics was established in 1978 and has evolved from a video tape manufacturer into an optical media maker.
What do you think of the role of Taiwan companies in disc manufacturing? Do you think they could edge out Japanese competition? Tell us what you predict in our comment section.