December 13, 1996 2:15 PM ET

Toshiba's DVD drives delayed
By Scott Berinato

  Despite the promises of an accelerated DVD schedule given by Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., parent Toshiba Corp. will delay the introduction of DVD-ROM-equipped PCs in Japan.

Introduction of the Precia PC, which was due to roll out in Japan in November, has been pushed back until January, officials said.

At Comdex last month, TAIS unveiled an aggressive strategy for the heralded technology, with plans to ship digital videodisk-ROM drives in January in the United States. The company also announced that a rewritable DVD-RAM drive would ship in 1998a year earlier than expected.

TAIS officials now concede that U.S. shipments of DVD-ROM drives will be delayed.

"Right now, it's delayed two to three weeks," said Ken Jones, DVD marketing manager for TAIS, in Irvine, Calif. Jones said bureaucratic hurdles have arisen in Japan over DVD copy protection chips, which go on MPEG-II decoding boards.

"We're hoping it's resolved any day now, but we've been hoping for that for two or three weeks," he said.

Jones said the go-ahead to ship the drives is now expected to come on Dec. 25.

Toshiba now expects to ship drives to OEMs in late January, with PCs available in March.

Toshiba can be reached at www.toshiba.com.

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