November 22, 1999 11:10 AM PST

DVD-RAM sales up despite uncertain standards

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Demand for DVD-rewritable drives has soared this year, Panasonic said today, but an entrenched standards fight between competing DVD technologies still looms over sales.

Panasonic said that demand for DVD-RAM drives has grown from 120,000 units last year to nearly 600,000 this year.

Currently, CD rewriting technology--and other storage options such as Zip and Jaz drives--are far more dominant in the market. Rewriting to a disc refers to storing or downloading data to the disc.

Moreover, in a chapter taken out of the videotape wars of the 1980s, the DVD-rewritable standards standoff could leave consumers once again holding useless discs and drives. (See related story.)

As more DVD-ROM drives are sold, Panasonic expects DVD-RAM sales to reach 1.5 million next year.

The Panasonic projections are similar to those of Disk Trend, a Mountain View, Calif., research firm that focuses on the storage industry.


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