Motherboard players unlikely to achieve shipment targets for 2015
Since demand for motherboards from Europe and China is still weak, motherboard players such as Micro-Star International (MSI), Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and Biostar are expected to see shipments decline in 2015.
The top-2 vendors Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology may not be able to achieve their 20 million-unit target of the year as their shipments for the first half are both expected to only reach around nine million units, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Overall PC demand remained weak in the first quarter of 2015. Tablets and smartphones continued to cannibalize PCs. In Europe, PC sales shrank dramatically amid the euro’s depreciation. In China, PC demand from tier-1 to tier-3 cities had reached saturation, while deployments in tier-4 to tier-6 cities still needed more time to complete.
Because of weak visibility and poor channel sales, most motherboard players have been reducing their orders for the first half.
Gigabyte shipped about 4.7-4.8 million brand motherboards in the first quarter, while Asustek’s volume came to about 4.5 million. The two players currently account for 80% of China’s motherboard market.
MSI and ASRock are estimated to ship 2.8-3.2 million motherboards each in the first half and may only achieve less than 6.5 million units each for 2015.
ASRock is already seeing a slight rise in profits from the motherboard business, but its shipment volume in 2015 is expected to be a lot weaker than those in the previous years. MSI’s motherboard business had break-even operation in 2014 but is unlikely to see significant profit growth in 2015.
Seeing weakening demand for motherboards, MSI has turned to focus on the gaming notebook business, while ASRock is developing products for the IPC server market.