Henry Lu, Vice President of Products at MSI, claims that one of the top-four motherboard makers, Asus, Gigabyte, ECS and MSI, will drop out of the market within three years. The reason for this is the limited expansion of the market that will not support growth for all four companies.
Recent notebook success has almost started to question survival of desktop PC, thus motherboards and graphics card shipments have been declining since Q3 2008, which suggests that we won’t be seeing further expansion. The idea behind the prophesized “three-year” general timeframe is that some second-tier motherboard maker dropouts will create some space for the top-four, but only for about the aforementioned three years.
Considering that none of the top-four managed to achieve their motherboard shipment goals for 2008, this doesn’t seem the least bit unlikely. The estimates say that 2008 saw Asus ship about 21 million, Gigabyte around 19 million, MSI about 16 million and ECS shipped around 21 million motherboards. However, note that although some of these companies managed to reach their goals, they did so with sales of other devices.
So, it seems we’ll see a hectic race among these four, but we’d say that it’s not the motherboard business that will make or break these companies, but rather activity (or lack thereof) on other fields such as notebook and netbook markets.