Sony to cease making PC optical drives under the Sony Optiarc brand, and instead will focus more on drive-less devices such as smartphones and tablets
Electronic giant Sony, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray format, has announced that it will cease production of Blu-ray drives, along with CD and DVD drives, for PCs, starting early next year as demand dwindles.
Instead, Sony will refocus their efforts on drive-less devices, including smartphones, tablets and netbooks.
"Products without drives, like smartphones and tablets, are growing more popular. The optical drive business for PCs is shrinking," said Sony spokesman Jin Tomihari.
The ubiquity of optical drives, in particular DVD drives, also means there's very little profit margin available to branded, high-end manufacturers like Sony, compared to the limitless number of OEMs on the marketplace. "It's also become the situation that almost anyone can manufacture optical drives," added Tomihari.
Focusing on drive-less devices also allows Sony to focus on their media distribution wing, currently operating under the Sony Entertainment Network brand. With online gaming, music and movie offering, Sony will hope the proliferation of SEN on Sony devices will build an ecosystem that can compete with rivals like Apple.
Production of optical drives, including Blu-ray drives, in non PC devices (such as Blu-ray players and game consoles) will be unaffected by these announced changes.