Gigabyte Technology, one of the world's largest makers of mainboards, said that while sales of media tablets are booming, they can only impact sales of netbooks, but not fully-fledged desktops and specifically mainboards.
"It is true that tablets are having an effect on the overall PC market, but this is mostly isolated to the notebook sector, and in particular netbooks. Tablet PCs can be seen as a viable replacement for notebooks in many scenarios due to their overlapping feature sets in terms of mobility and connectivity. But in the case of why and how consumers use a desktop PC, there is little to no overlap," said Vincent Liu, associate vice president of sales and marketing at Gigabyte, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site, which was sent in to X-bit labs by a Gigabyte representative.
Gigabyte has never been a strong proponent of netbooks or cheap notebooks, which is why it does not have to worry about sales of such devices. Nonetheless, many analysts believe that due to major increase in capabilities of media tablets and smartphones end-users will slowdown upgrades of their desktops and notebooks. This will directly affect sales of PC components in general and mainboards in particular.
The maker of motherboards understands that desktops and powerful notebooks are used to create content, something that remains a major part of computing. Meanwhile slates are used to consume content.
"We see tablet PCs as a companion device to desktops. Users want to have the benefits of a full-featured desktop PC at home: more CPU processing power, larger screen real-estate, multi-terabyte storage capacity, etc. which they will use to create, store and share their content. They will then utilize the improved mobility of tablets and smartphones to consume content wherever they want,", said Mr. Liu.
Gigabyte remains optimistic about its primary business. It considers the rise of media tablets as another business opportunity and a way to further improve its mainboards by adding features specifically aimed at slates and other devices that are frequently plugged and unplugged to a PC.
"Gigabyte introduced our 3x USB Power technology which allows consumers to charge devices via USB using their desktop to compliment this trend, and this year we have extended that feature to every single motherboard in our range. Another feature we are adding is 1-port, 1-fuse USB. [Since] USB is designed to support frequent plugging and unplugging of different devices, there needs to be a fuse separating the USB sub-system from the rest of the motherboard to protect the whole system from damage in the rare cases of excess current over the connection, " explained Mr. Liu.
In many cases, a single fuse isolates a group of ports, which means that once the fuse (in extremely rare cases) malfunctions, the whole group of ports is lose. Gigabyte's solution eliminates such possibility.
"We have redesigned our boards so that each USB port has its own fuse. This adds to the cost, but is completely offset by the improved durability of our products," said the vice president of Gigabyte.