New IDC Research Uncovers What’s Hot And What’s Not In The Worldwide Optical Storage Market

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Jan. 13, 1998 — The overall worldwide optical drive market finished 1997 up 54 percent over 1996 with unit shipments reaching 74.7 million, according to new International Data Corporation research, Optical Storage Market: 1997 Year in Review and 1998 Forecast. Looking forward, this market will continue to mature and transition to next-generation technologies, growing an additional 20 percent in aggregate through 1998. CD drives and smaller form factor magneto- optical (MO) did extremely well, while the larger form factor drives continued to struggle.

The worldwide CD-ROM market had another outstanding year in 1997, growing 52 percent in unit shipments from 1996. DVD-ROM, on the other hand, was almost non-existent and only began to show a presence in the fourth quarter of 1997. IDC attributes DVD’s sluggish start to a lack of compelling titles. "Second generation DVD-ROM drives, which began to appear in volume in 4Q97, are in a much better position to compete with CD-ROM drives," said Wolfgang Schlichting, senior research analyst, Optical/Removable Storage. "Adoption will proceed slowly in the beginning of 1998 but will pick up significantly in the second half of the year as content increases and prices decrease." The CD/DVD-Rec category — consisting almost exclusively of CD-R, CD-RW, and PD drives — reached 3.6 million units in 1997 and will grow an additional 70 percent in 1998 to reach 6.2 million units.

Worldwide Market Highlights

The total optical storage market will reach 89.8 million units in 1998.

CD/DVD-ROM shipments will slow to 18 percent from 1997 to 1998.

CD/DVD-Rec experienced 142 percent unit growth from 1996 to 1997. Led by CD-RW, it’s the fastest growing segment of the market.

The Japanese market will fuel continued growth of 3.5" MO.

5.25" optical and 12/14" WORM shipments were down 17 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in 1997. This trend will continue through 1998.

Despite high expectations for DVD, 1997 turned out to be another record year for CD-ROM. Overall, IDC believes the optical storage market will continue to grow, but DVD will have to make some significant strides to live up to its advanced billing. Falling prices and the ability to read CD-ROMs at 20X or faster have set the stage for DVD to make an impact.

To order a copy of Optical Storage Market: 1997 Year in Review and 1998 Forecast (IDC #B15111) please contact Cheryl Toffel at 508-935-4389.

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