LiteOn to cease sales of self-branded consumer drives

By Justin Mann on October 26, 2006, 8:31 PM
An update and correction on this story can be found here.

LiteOn is fairly popular among the enthusiast crowd, often delivering optical drives at a low cost that still have all the features of the bigger brand names. Unfortunately, they will be halting optical drive shipments under their own name, instead switching to an OEM vendor only. While many companies rebrand LiteOn drives, the sales for a straight LiteOn ODD aren't high enough for the company to continue:

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.
This means it will be no longer possible to get LiteOn drives, possibly even an OEM drive, on a consumer level. Through bulk orders or other vendors, they will still be around, under different names.

User Comments: 4

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spydercanopus said:
Sweet I have one unopened. I wonder if it will be worth something in 10 years.
asphix said:
I personally think this is bad news. I know a lot of people have had issue with Lite-On dvd burners. Luckily I never had a problem with mine.The way I see it though, I'd rather buy 4 burners over a 5 year period at $30 bucks each than one burner over a 5 year period at $100 as with the 4 burners in 5 year solution, chances are you will be upgrading quite a bit at each cycle.. with the one time purchase you're likely to be stuck with a burner that is relatively slow in respect to what is now available on the market after 2 years into its life cycle.I liked the cheap burners.. even if they rarely lasted over a year. That way when they failed, I'd go buy somethign that would shave 3-10 minutes off my previous burn cycle and in the long term would spend about the same amount of $$.
spike6 said:
Really disappointed to hear this! I am just now building an SFF machine and need a short (6.75") Lite-On ODD. Don't want to buy it yet as I won't be ready to turn it up for several weeks so I won't know if it's DOA, etc. Do we have any idea who (what brand name) will be marketing the Lite-On drives after this unfortunate move?
asphix said:
Just heard that the whole statement this sad news was pulled from was mis-interpreted.. liteon will just be ending their consumer level set-top DVD-r's.. their drives will still be available on a consumer level.yay!
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