THE MOTHERBOARD MARKET has changed in a pretty dramatic way, as Asus’once budget only brand ASRock, now a part of the Pegatron group has overtaken not only ECS, but also MSI in terms of motherboard shipments in 2010. This makes ASRock the third largest branded motherboard maker in the world which is no mean feat.
Digitimes reports that ASRock shipped eight million own brand retail motherboards last year and judging by what we’ve seen so far this year, ASRock is set to become a serious threat in the high-end market space. This isn’t going to be an easy challenge for ASRock, but the company is already a good way into its transformation from a budget brand to a motherboard maker that needs to be taken very serious by the traditional players in the market.
ECS and MSI each shipped about seven million retail motherboards last year, although due to large OEM orders, neither company is likely to suffer too much from losing their market position to ASRock in the retail market. However, ASRock has a long way to go to catch up with Gigabyte’s 18 million retail boards and Asus’ 21.6 million and it’s unlikely we’ll see ASRock catching up any time soon.
Another problem for ASRock is that currently many of its more popular models are mid-range and entry level boards with a fairly low retail price compared to the $250-300+ halo products offers by Asus and Gigabyte. It’s likely that ASRock’s gaming motherboard, the Fatal1ty P67 Professional will change consumer’s perception of ASRock, despite the tacky Fatal1ty branding which has gone way over the top on what otherwise looks like a very solid product.
We’re expecting to see a lot of interesting developments from ASRock this year and the company should hopefully be showing off some of these developments at Computex which kicks off on the last day of May this year. We’ll also try to follow and see what ECS and MSI gets up to try and get their market positions back from ASRock, if the two can do anything at all, as it seems like ASRock is here to stay if what we’ve seen so far is any indication of the type of products the company will continue to put out in the market.S|A
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