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One of the top four manufacturers of mainboards will cease to exist in about three years from now, according to a vice president of MicroStar International. The reasons for that is slow desktop computer market growth and the growing popularity of notebooks. Obviously, before one of the top four makers is gone, many second-tier makers will vanish into thin air.

Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, EliteGroup Computer Systems (ECS) and MicroStar International (MSI) are currently the world’s largest makers of both branded and generic mainboards, who control the lion’s share of the market. But one of them will “drop out” of the market in the next few years since limited further expansion of the motherboard business “will not be able to support the growth of the four giants any more”, said Henry Lu, vice president of products at MSI, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.

There is no secret that shipments of various mobile computers – including notebooks and netbooks – are currently exceeding shipments of desktop systems. As a result of practical stagnation of the desktop market, shipments of mainboards also remain on the same level, which means that if one producer suppliers more, other manufacturers lose.

Just like any other high-tech providers, motherboard suppliers have to invest into research and development, design of their products, production lines improvements and so on. Since those investments tend to get higher every year, amid shipments growth stagnation, at some point one of the top four vendors will not be able to keep the pace and will either have to leave the market of mainboards or unite with another big player.

In the recent years many smaller motherboard producers merged with each other in order to stay alive, but while for some it was the path for prosperity, the other vanished into oblivion. On the other hand, Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology, who wanted to create a joint-venture motherboard supplier Gigabyte United, decided not to combine their businesses. There were also rumours that Asustek expressed interest in taking over MSI.

According to some estimations, Asustek supplied 21 million mainboards in 2008, ECS also shipped 21 units, Gigabyte produced 19 motherboards and MSI delivered 16 mainboards.

Tags: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, ECS, Business

Discussion

Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 01/11/09 09:38:13 PM
Latest comment: 01/13/09 02:48:49 PM

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1. 
And MSI will be the one to pull the plug ............why............because near all of their mainboards are crap due to bugs and near non existent bios updates to fix a plethora of problems
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/11/09 09:38:14 PM]
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2. 
Why that attitude?! To be totally honest every manufacturers from these fantastic four sucks ba*ls in at least 20% of their products (mobos). And that policy of crap production start to spread their maliciousness from top of the list. In the days when Abit (rip) and Asus ruled the mobo world five years ago they have serious flaws especially in parts quality. Cutting down their financial issues on end-users hump.
And in last few years asus become total crap if we exempt from the list p5b series, while k and q series (except some fancy new marketing midgets asus rnd built in) become worse and worse, and diminished maket for amd cpu let them to fully concentrate on core2 platform but in fact they deliver more robust mobos on 770/790 chipsets than they on most of p35/p45 products.
Gigabyte is the worst of a them but in last few years after "core movement" become popular they in fact become mainstream leader and issuing revision after revision of weird behaving mobos tht in ex.rev.2.1 become stable and the latest bios they've written couldnt be applied on old rev. boards.
ECS is a budget leader and the most parts on their mobo are extremly price conscious which mainly result in end user hedaches.
While MSI in fact resolves most of their infantile mobo problems but they requires too much time to resolve it on their entusiastic mobos, while they have rock solid mobos in mainstreanm segment but mostly disliked cause overclocking capability are rigourously cut and that's the main reason of their fall behind GB & ECS

On the other hand maybe it would be gread see them al go to obliviance like ABit and some new emerging and now pretty sturdy players took over their places. and in fact I dont see why some end users would like to read about some company's CO throws some bates expecting from some biger player to came and fill their pockets and that they all live happily ever after
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 01/13/09 02:48:49 PM]
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