Pioneer New Media Technologies’ DVR-103 is the mechanism that Apple calls its “SuperDrive.” It’s the optical drive that offers DVD-R and CD-RW capabilities. Today Pioneer announced that another computer company will be adding the drive to its product mix, and says that it should ship more than a million of the drives before its fiscal year is done.
This time, the new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is Sony — the dominant consumer electronics company will be including the DVR-103 mechanism in its VAIO line of personal computers. Sony is the fourth major computer maker to include the DVR-103 as an OEM offering in its computer configurations. In addition to Apple, PC clone makers Compaq and NEC/Packard Bell also offer the drive in some configurations. The “SuperDrive” is available to buyers of Apple’s top-end Power Mac G4 733 MHz configuration.
Pioneer senior VP Hani Gabriel says that the company is pleased to see the DVR-103 mechanism gaining acceptance through multiple channels.
“We believe our DVD-R/RW drives offer consumers the best possible option for recording data or video to DVD discs. The addition of this drive will greatly enhance any OEM’s product offering,” said Gabriel.
Although the drive is not unique to the Power Mac G4, Apple has combined the DVR-103 mechanism with Apple’s own easy-to-use iDVD mastering software. The one-two punch has knocked out various computer critics who have complained about the less user-friendly Windows-based offerings produced thus far.
The mechanism is also available for third-party systems integrators and peripheral makers — Pioneer has rebadged the drive as the DVR-A03, and offers it through distributors for a suggested retail price of US$995.
Pioneer also said that it is significantly expanding its production capacity at its China operation, which just started up this month. It plans to produce more than 1 million DVD-R/CD-RW drives before the end of the fiscal year.