Yamaha ditches CDRW products

Yamaha ditches CDRW products

Mounting pressure on price and margin has forced Yamaha out of the PC optical drive market.

The company announced it would discontinue sales of both its CD and DVD rewritable components for personal computers. The decision is part of a global strategy to move beyond the cut-throat prices of the market.

“Yamaha had toyed with the idea of continuing its PC related optical drives business with the DVD rewritable products, but we will not continue any of our optical drive products for PC use,” sales and marketing director for Yamaha’s audio visual and IT (AVIT) division, Philip Hawkins, said. “Our part in the computer peripherals market will be limited to PC stereo systems and home theatre products.”

Yamaha has been an original manufacturer of CD rewritable drives since the early days of CDRW. To cope with pricing pressures, it shifted manufacturing facilities from Japan to Malaysia to make the most of cost efficiencies, but had been unable to compete with the flood of commodity drives from Taiwan and China.

“Yamaha is a mid- to high-end player,” Hawkins said. “Aiming for that market has been a real challenge. In the face of $149 drives from other manufacturers, we really had to adjust our platform.”

Although the vendor will not offer recordable DVD technologies for the PC market, it will continue in the home theatre sector. Last year, the company launched a DVD rewritable home entertainment deck and the company plans to continue that product line. It will also continue sales and marketing for its PC speakers.

“We’re in that sector and we will continue in 2003,” Hawkins said. “Our AVIT group is already developing other products for its portfolio.”

The CDRW products are distributed through Synnex, as well as big name retailers such as Harvey Norman and Megamart.

Hawkins said while much of the stock had sold through the channel, Yamaha would continue to offer support and warranty services for the 12-month warranty period.

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