The glut of CD-Rom drives in the channel is over, with many dealers and distributors unable to meet demand.
The problem is most apparent in the market for eight-speed drives and there has been a resurgence in the demand for the four-speed drives. Almost all UK broadline distributors have confirmed that they are experiencing difficulties obtaining eight-speed CD-Rom drives.
Hugh Baker-Smith, general manager of PCs and components at Frontline, said: 'The glut is over. I could sell as many as I can get my hands on - and that goes for four-speed as well.'
One OEM said prices for eight-speed CD-Rom drives had increased by as much as 30 per cent from some sources.
Venetia Rowland, director of marketing and products at Merisel, said the company had taken steps to avoid shortages. 'We bought up substantial amounts of Sony CD-Rom drives and don't anticipate the same levels of shortages that others might encounter,' she said.
Following the rapid decline in the prices of four-speed and six-speed CD-Roms, many OEMs shied away from placing substantial orders for eight-speed drives, concerned that they would lose money if the market declined.
As a result, many are unable to get as many drives as they need.
Many channel players are waiting to see if the manufacturers begin to push into 10-and 12-speed drives, causing eight-speed prices to fall.
Eddie Moore, product manager at Ideal Hardware, confirmed the company was unable to meet the demand for drives. 'We're only getting a proportion of the drives we put on order. We haven't had to put any pressure on prices just yet, but it can't be ruled out if shortages continue.'
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