I pointed out this thread to a Verbatim USA representative.
Below are their comments regarding the production/distribution of Verbatim 8x media in the USA.
We no longer produce/market say 4x, 8x, 12x CDR but rather a single CDR SKU
that we manufacture and ensure it writes (and is read) across the total
speed spectrum -- 1x to 52x. Similarly we no longer produce 1x, 2x or 4x
DVD+/-R. We will continue to produce and ship 8x DVDR (at least here in
the Americas) until we have ramped up the production of 16x media to meet
our large and growing demand. Then we will smoothly transition out of 8x
to 16x. But the media will clearly state on the front (as it does today)
that it has been tested and proven to perform at all rated burner
speeds...including today's high speed burners that are capable of writing
at 16x. This media will fully meet the published specifications and
The newest 16x media will perform at an outstanding manner in the
individual's 8x burner but obviously only at 8x speed. The consumer isn't
"cheated" by paying for more speed than he or she can actually use but it
allows us to focus on delivering one SKU that meets the broadest spectrum
of needs. At the same time, resellers want to carry a minimum number of
SKUs (for obvious cost-saving reasons). Obviously if we can't get the
reseller to carry 1x, 2x, 4x... media then there is little reason to
produce such a wide speed product range. Since we only sell through
authorized resellers (we do not and will not go around our channel
partners) it is obvious that we must meet their supply needs. In this case
it is to provide the minimum number of SKUs to cover the broadest range of
customer applications...hence DVDR media that writes at the proper rated
speed of the burner.
The 8x user in question will ultimately get higher performance media that
he or she can use successfully across the complete write speed spectrum.