Nothing Sunny About PC Blu-ray Drive Adoption

Blu-ray players are selling and their prices are falling, but PC makers are still slow to include the storage-rich Blu-ray drives in their products, reports iSuppli, in part due to costs.

Sales of consumer Blu-ray players are quickly rising, the players' prices are quickly dropping, and the number of movies now available in high definition is on the rise. And yet, the number of Blu-ray drives in PCs is only slowly inching up, according to a new report from iSuppli.
BDs will be found in 3.6 percent of PCs shipped this year-a number expected to rise to only 16.3 percent by 2013.
"BDs won't be replacing DVDs as the primary optical drive in PC systems through at least the year 2013," said Michael Yang, iSuppli senior analyst for storage and mobile memory, in a statement.
"They eventually will find success, but during the next five years, that success will be limited in the PC segment."
Yang attributes their slow ascent to three factors. The first is cost, as PC shoppers are unwilling to pay a higher price for a high-definition drive. Tied to this is the second reason: a still-limited number of HD films.
"The cost issue is amplified by the fact that the library of content is so small that there really isn't a reason for users to switch at the moment," stated Yang. He adds that while studios are creating more Blu-ray content every week, there's still some waiting to do before truly significant numbers of them are amassed.
Blu-ray discs look like DVDs or CDs, and are intended to replace DVDs. In addition to being able to store high-definition video, they can store more data than DVDs-by some accounts, approximately six times more data storage.
The third factor, according to Yang, is the difficulty of conquering the current most popular PC storage medium, the DVD-RV drive. iSuppli found that, historically, each new successful storage media was only able to gain popularity once content became widely available and consumers understood it to be useful, easy to use and worth the price.
"It's undeniable that Blu-ray delivers a higher-definition picture, better sound quality and larger storage space for home entertainment," Yang remarked in the statement.
"However, these benefits may have little or no value when viewing the content on a smaller desktop or laptop PC screen and using poor speakers."
iSuppli predicts that CD/DVD players will enjoy 94.10 percent penetration in PCs shipped worldwide in 2010, before dropping off to 89 percent in 2011, 84.8 percent in 2012 and 83.7 percent in 2013. This coincides with the rise of BD penetration to 5.9 percent in 2010, 11 percent in 2011 and 15.2 percent in 2012, before reaching 16.3 percent in 2013.