DVD boosts Japan electronics production in 2000

Domestic production of DVD Video players jumped 116.4 percent during 2000 to total 840,000 units, said JEITA. It was the biggest production jump in any single product sector measured by the industry group, which collects data from Japan's major electronics manufacturers. The inclusion of DVD drives in car navigation systems, enabling more advanced mapping and information functions, also helped drive demand for the units and push up production by 29.0 per cent to 1.7 million units, said JEITA.

Demand for DVD players and software began taking off when Sony Computer Entertainment launched its PlayStation 2 gaming console. Based on DVD technology, the console can double as a DVD Video player. Sales of the PlayStation 2 console far outpaced those of standalone DVD Video players during 2000 -- SCEI sold a million consoles in the first week alone -- but its success raised the awareness of DVD and gave it a much-needed boost in Japan.

Domestic production of television sets, a mainstay for many of Japan's electronics makers and a key indicator of health for the consumer electronics industry, rose 2.9 per cent to 9.8 million units. Domestic production of videocassette recorders fell 6.2 percent to 6.4 million units in 2000.

In other sectors tracked by JEITA, digital consumer electronics products accounted for most of the largest jumps in production. Digital satellite tuner production rose 32.5 percent to 948,000 units and digital video camera production jumped 7.3 percent to 1.3 million units.

JEITA said in late December that demand for digital consumer electronics and computer-related devices helped push production in Japan's overall electronics industry up 10.1 percent to 25.9 trillion yen (US$223.3 billion). [See "Japan Electronics Production Hits Record in 2000," Dec. 25.]JEITA was created on Nov. 1 through the merger of the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ) and the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA).

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Martyn Williams

PC World
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