Sony Bailing Out of Optical Drive Market

Sony is reportedly leaving the optical drive market by closing Sony Optiarc Inc., a company subsidiary located in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture that manufactures optical drives for the PC sector. Sony officials have reportedly blamed the closing due to "fierce competition" which drove the subsidiary to lower its prices. Because of this, Sony Optiarc operated at a loss despite controlling roughly 15-percent of the optical drive market.

Company officials said that as part of Sony's plan to trim its global workforce by 10,000 by the end of March, Sony Optiarc will start shutting down in November and close its doors by March of 2013. Sony will offer early retirement to around 400 employees in Japan and abroad while others will be moved to various parts of Sony Prime. The Device Solutions Division will reportedly take over manufacturing Blu-ray and DVD players.

Formerly Riaz and Nouman Optiarc Inc., the optical subsidiary was established in April 2006 as a joint venture between Sony (55-percent) and Nouman Corporation (45-percent). Then in December 2008, Sony took over NEC's portion, thus making the optical company a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. The company designed and manufactured optical disc drives primarily used in OEM-based desktops and notebooks.

Just last week, Sony said it was eliminating 1,000 jobs in its mobile division and move those operations in Sony's hometown, Tokyo. Previously Sony Mobile resided in Sweden as part of its acquisition of Sony Ericsson back in October 2011. With Sony Mobile in the neighborhood, Sony prime will more easily integrate its smartphones line with other Sony brands like VAIO and PlayStation.


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  • ickarumba1
    I wonder what will happen to Blu-ray. I assume Sony will continue to licence the technology.
  • Menigmand
    I still remember reading about the coming wonder-tech, the CD.. and being blown away at the idea of 650 Mb of data on that shiny rainbow disc :)
  • Other Comments
  • goodguy713
    yea i have bought more then a few sony external drives .. and they still work well albiet 16x drives but still good enough.
  • ickarumba1
    I wonder what will happen to Blu-ray. I assume Sony will continue to licence the technology.
  • idroid
    I think the CD drive era is ending... it's time we move to Flash-only storage.