Even though Intel's 7-series chipsets aren't even officially launched yet, first-tier motherboard have already dropped motherboard prices to compete for marketshare, according to a report by DigiTimes. The site notes that in the European market, 7-series motherboards saw a price drop of about 3-10 percent, putting pressure on second-tier players. The launch of the 7-series is anticipated in early April.
As global copper pricing continues to rise, causing the cost of motherboard components such as printed circuit boards (PCB), to increase, first-tier motherboard makers originally planned to raise their motherboard prices to reflect the increasing costs, but since the motherboard market is already facing a slow down in shipment growth, the makers continue to compete fiercely over price.
Although Intel is not set to announce its 7 series chipset until early April, most first-tier motherboard makers already started selling their motherboards in retail channels in Europe and China in March to gain an advantage, while also greatly reducing their mid-range and entry-level prices to defend their market share.