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Samsung Enters RW DVD Market

Samsung Electronics will introduce a DVD-R/RW drive later this year in anticipation of the rewritable DVD market continued growth in 2003.

Samsung’s Sean Stead, senior marketing manager for storage, said the increased popularity of digital camcorders and home DVD players among consumers will drive the rewritable DVD market making it a must for Samsung to participate.

“We are very excited about rewritable DVD and Samsung will be out with a drive in the fourth quarter,” he said. The -R/RW format was chosen because is the most compatible with older DVD players and is already available in volume, he added.

However, Stead did not rule out introducing DVD+R/RW drive in the future. Samsung does not have any issue with selling both formats, however, he did not feel the same about DVD-RAM, which has settled in as a data archiving system with limited growth opportunities.

The units expected suggested retail price has not been determined.

Stead also sees a few changes taking place on the CD-RW front in the coming months. He expects the write/rewrite speed war to level off as speeds hit the 48x write plateau and for prices of the drives to subsequently drop, which could push out some of the smaller players in the categories.

“48x should be the end of the line. The physics just don’t allow it [to go higher]. And once the race war is over then prices will drop for the well-known brands and then there could be a shakeout,” Stead said.