Categories: News

Motherboard Sales Are in Sharp Decline

Selecting a motherboard can be a tricky task due to the number of chipsets, aesthetic designs and power circuitry. In today’s market, motherboards are a good investment because enthusiast processors haven’t progressed at a significant enough pace to make users upgrade on a regular basis. Not only that, products are built to such a high standard that reliability isn’t a major issue in most cases. According to a new report by Digitimes, motherboard makers have experienced an estimated 20-30% reduction in Q2 shipments which is actually worse than initially expected. The article claims:

“Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology shipped 17.8 and 17.1 million motherboards in 2015, respectively, dropping from around 19 million units in 2014. With motherboard demand estimated to remain weak in the second half of 2016 and issues including exchange rate fluctuations, political uncertainties and delay of Intel’s Kaby Lake platform, the sources expect Asustek and Gigabyte to see over 5% on-year declines in 2016 shipments.”

On another note, it appears the smaller motherboard companies are struggling to remain competitive and brands like BIOSTAR and ECS have re-assessed their long-term business strategy:

“China-based Jwele has already decided to leave the motherboard market, while Onda has turned to focus on 2-in-1 devices, mini PCs and LCD monitors. As for Taiwan-based players, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) already has stopped releasing own-brand motherboards, while Biostar has turned to develop embedded solutions. Biostar shipped only 1.71 million branded motherboards in 2015, down sharply by 44% on year and the volume is expected to halve in 2016.”

Apparently, motherboard vendors have been trying to instigate growth in the Chinese market with limited success so far:

“In addition, motherboard players have also been increasing their sales bonuses to their distributors and channel retail partners in China to encourage them to place orders. However, the risk of creating bad debts has been rising and a few cases have already occurred recently.”

While this isn’t a surprising revelation given the current market trend, it’s disappointing and I’d like to see more companies producing motherboards for the enthusiast user. Sadly, this doesn’t seem possible and even the larger manufacturers like Gigabyte and ASUS have experienced significant downturns.

John Williamson

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