DigiTimes heard rumors that most motherboard makers will focus on maintaining their gross margins for 2015 and will not enter a price war with ASUS, which is aggressively cutting the pricing of its motherboards to defend its number one market position.
The site notes that smaller players like MSI, ASRock and ECS are expected to surrender marketshare to ASUS, and that Gigabyte has turned it focus on pushing high-end motherboards to maintain its profits.
Lower-tier Chinese motherboard makers are seeing their marketshare shrink rapidly due to the price competition in the motherboard market. Large players like Colorful, Onda and Maxsum are struggling to survive, while smaller players like Jwele, Topstar, Jetway and M-One may soon be driven out of the market.
Asustek's annual motherboard shipments are expected to return back to 22 million units in 2014, but the increased volume will come mainly from its competitors, especially second-tier players such as Micro-Star International (MSI), ASRock and Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), not growth in the overall motherboard market.
With motherboard demand from China expected to slow down in 2015, Gigabyte Technology has turned to focus on pushing high-end motherboards to maintain its profits.
ASRock has been impacted the most from the price competition in terms of both shipments and profitability. MSI's gaming notebook business is expected to contribute strong profits in 2014, helping the company to cover its motherboard business' decline. But for 2015, the two players will both stop pushing for shipments and will try to keep their businesses profitable.