Sources from the upstream supply chain told DigiTimes that it's going to be another bad year for the motherboard industry as sales of branded motherboards are expected to fall by five to as much as ten percent. Industry leaders ASUS and Gigabyte are expected to see sales drops of around 5 percent, while smaller motherboard players are expected to see sales collapse by over 10 percent. Among other things, weak demand from China is cited as a reason for the dire forecast.
Interestingly, the site notes ASUS and Gigabyte managed to keep 2016 profits at a level similar to those in 2015 thanks to a shift in the product mix towards more gaming, mid-range and high-end motherboards.
With the top-2 motherboard vendors Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology likely to focus on maintaining their market shares by offering price cuts in 2017, second- and third-tier firms will see more difficulties surviving the competition.
Asustek and Gigabyte both saw their branded motherboard shipments drop in 2016. Asustek shipped 17 million motherboards worldwide in the year and 8.5-9 million in China, while Gigabyte shipped 16 million units worldwide and 8-8.5 million units in China.
Despite the shipment drops, the two vendors still managed to achieve profits in 2016 at levels similar to those of in 2015 thanks to increased sales in the gaming segment and rising mid-range and high-end motherboard shipments.