Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology (TSST), the joint venture between the two named firms that manufactures optical drives, is no longer making them according to sources familiar with the matter. This has left some third parties purportedly low on stock and could mean just LG and Liteon are the remaining ODD makers by the end of the year.
Our source on this news claimed that two separate people working for optical companies that rely on TSST hardware confirmed this rumour, stating that TSST has halted production entirely and will ship out its last few batches before the end of the year. They claim that this will leave just LG Hitachi making optical drives by 2017.
We reached out to Liteon to try and confirm this news, speaking with sales manager Mike Huang. He told us that “it’s true that TSST(Samsung ODD) stopped production from Mid-April.” He also claimed that counter to our tip’s idea that only LG would remain competitive, Liteon had received massive orders from retailers and that its factory capacity was maxed.
“We will continue the ODD business aggressively to obtain about 50% of market share,” and will “release a new ODD to the market,” he said.
We also reached out to ASUS, a party that uses TSST drives for its own branded optical drives. While it wouldn’t confirm whether any of this news was true, it denied that it would be exiting the ODD game, stating that: “ODD is still very much a focus and a product that we are supporting strongly in the UK.”
TSST recently announced that it was seeking protection from creditors while it worked through some financial difficulties. It may be that shutting down its optical drive division is part of restructuring to remain afloat.
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KitGuru Says: I haven’t bought an optical drive since the first SATA drives came out. That said, I haven’t used a disk to install anything but Windows for the last few years either. They’re pretty redundant.