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Christmas spoiled by confusion over DVD spec

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Taiwanese DVD makers expect a shortage of product supply in the fourth quarter of this year, as manufacturers struggle to ramp up demand for the Christmas period. The problem for manufacturers is that the DVD-RAM specifications will not be settled by vendors until October. This only gives the large drive manufacturers, like Sony and Matsushita, two months to ramp up production before Christmas. Many PC manufacturers are also holding back from using DVD drives until the technical details are finally ratified. A spokesman for Taiwanese vendor AOpen said that drives on the local market were selling at $100, which meant they were cheaper than high-end CD-ROM drives. Prices of DVD drives in the Far East have been falling faster than expected, with pricing likely to come down to $80 by the end of the year. Supply of the drives is not expected to boom until Q1 of next year. According to estimates, the market for DVD drives is set to double over the next year, and that drive sales in Europe and the US are set to double to 4 million units.

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