Shinanokenshi (the parent company of Plextor) has decided to exit the market for consumer CD and DVD products. The Plextor brand name will remain for industry use products and digital playback units for the visually impaired. Shinanokenshi has announced that their optical drive operations will be reduced to 10% of its peak capacity. These actions will also lead to reduced workforce at Shinanokenshi. Shinanokenshi cites increased competition from Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers, increased pricing competition and slumping profit margins as reasons for exiting the ODD (Optical Disk Drive) business.
Plextor entered the CD drive market in 1990 and has produced some of the top optical disk drives over the years. Their slogan “King of Quality” illustrated their goals for producing superior quality ODD products. Plextor drives and software have introduced innovative features and groundbreaking tools to the market over the years. Their custom software suite PlexTools introduced consumers to many new tools and utilities that were highly utilized by optical drive enthusiasts. The source article can be found at shimai.co.jp in Japanese.
A large computer chain in Japan also recently reported that Plextor has informed them that there will be no more shipments of the PX-755A or the PX-760A DVD burners. The drives should still be available in some retail stores, but once they sell out, they’re gone. Any Plextor fans out there that may want another drive should probably buy one right now, while they are still available from retail outlets.
Ian from CDRLabs.com also states, “we have not heard anything from Plextor’s American or European subsidiaries yet. It’s possible that they may remain in the optical drive business by rebadging drives or focusing on Blu-ray but at this point, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Update: After this news was published, their have been new developments and official press releases issued that indicate that Plextor will continue to sell optical disk drives. It looks like shinmai.co.jp jumped the gun when they announced that Plextor was “exiting” the consumer markets. The Plextor optical drive sales business will continue, but they will most likely be rebranding or rebadging drives that have been manufactured by other companies. Shinanokenshi has indicated that their engineers will focus on developing other products, which suggests that we might not see any more “Plextor original” optical disk drives, but only time will tell for sure.