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Lite-On To Close Own-Brand Consumer ODD Business

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Lite-On To Close Own-Brand Consumer ODD Business

Postby Ian on Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:03 am

Interesting...

http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20061026A7037.html

Lite-On IT, the largest Taiwan-based maker of optical disc drives (ODDs), on October 25 reported its financial results for the third quarter of this year, posting a very small net earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.033. The company also announced it has decided to stop production of consumer ODDs, mainly DVD recorders, to be sold under its Liteon brand in the global market, while keeping OEM/ODM production of such products.

Lite-On IT's average gross margin dropped from 16.7% in the first half of this year to 13.2% last quarter. Three main reasons for this were the following: the ongoing integration of Lite-On IT's own operating resources with those of BenQ's ODD business unit (acquired by Lite-On IT in April 2006); delays in R&D works on Blu-ray Disc drives, slim-type ODDs and Xbox ODDs; losses due to consumer returns of own-brand DVD recorders sold through the Wal-Mart chain, according to company CEO Danny Liao.

The case with Wal-Mart, Lite-On IT's largest client for consumer DVD recorders, shows the difficulty to make money on consumer ODDs, Liao pointed out explaining Lite-On IT's withdrawal from the global own-brand market. Sales of own-brand DVD recorders currently account for 5-6% of Lite-On IT's total revenues, Liao indicated.

This quarter, Lite-On IT will continue amortizing losses from consumer ODDs, including those from returns of DVD recorders shipped through Wal-Mart, so the profitability will not significantly improve from last quarter, Liao noted.

Planning to finish moving ODD production from BenQ's factory in Suzhou in eastern China to its own production base in Guangzhou in southern China by December, Lite-On IT expects its operating profitability to rebound in the first quarter of 2007, Liao said.


I'm not sure if this includes all of Lite-On's ODD products or just their DVD recorders. Thoughts?
"Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt." - Steve Jobs
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:16 am

As I understand it, it affects all LiteON burners, but I wasn't sure about the DVD recorders when I first found out about it. But based on Digitimes' post, I would say it affects both types.

This is deffinately most unexpected news!
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Postby MediumRare on Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:08 pm

Anyone know what the problem at Walmart was?

Thanks to RJW's infoermation, we now know that a miscalculated Walmart deal won't kill a well-known brand in the international computer world. Most of us buy OEM rather than retail anyway- but I don't really want to have to figure out which Sony or Philips or whatever is LiteOn and which is Samsung or BenQ or Artec or ???

G
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Postby Justin42 on Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:24 pm

MediumRare wrote:Anyone know what the problem at Walmart was?



Probably an issue with the carbon-based lifeform buying electronics at WalMart, especially from a kinda "off-brand" in the consumer world, and probably not understanding how to use it without reading the manual. (and/or a really bad manual, never had a LiteOn set top unit)

I've heard anecdotal stories that HUGE numbers of returns on DVD recorders-- of all brands at all stores-- are due to user problems (and/or assuming it's defective).
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Postby Dartman on Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:05 pm

So great, they buy out BenQ then kill off their optical business after moving BenQ's manufacturing to their own places, Gees.
Aren't going to be a lot of outstanding burners left at this rate :evil:
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Postby Ian on Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:13 pm

It's just their stand alone DVD recorders... not their PC based drives.

They are having other issues though. Their new slim-type drives are taking longer than they expected and one of my contacts commented that the BenQ designs aren't that great either.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:08 am

I've heard conflicting things about the ODD side of LiteON.... it seems different locations have differing stories :-?
Punch Cards -> Paper Tape -> Tape Drive -> 8" Floppy Diskette -> 5 1/4" Floppy Diskette -> 3 1/2" "Flippy" Diskette -> CD-R -> DVD±R -> BD-R

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