No more margin
HEXUS.channel can exclusively confirm that Taiwanese technology company abit, which is associated primarily with high-end and gaming mainboards, will stop producing all mainboards at the end of 2008.
HEXUS.channel has confirmed this as fact from sources close to South East Asian distributors, all of which will be notified by their abit sales contacts from today onwards.
Apparently abit will continue to deliver mainboards until the end of the year and will honour RMAs and warranties for three years subsequently.
Rumours of abit's demise from mainboards were circulating widely last May, prompting an emphatic denial from abit. Our sources tell us that abit still intended to continue with mainboards at the time and that this decision was only made in the last couple of weeks.
This will mark a wholesale shift towards specialising in consumer electronics devices, such as the Funfab photo-frame-stroke-printer, which we spotted at this year's Computex. We understand that a MID (mobile internet device) is also planned for early next year as well as other photo related gadgetry.
Taiwanese manufacturer Universal Scientific International (USI) acquired abit in May of 2006 and it's now officially called Universal abit. There have been reports of defections and departures from the abit mainboard division ever since then, so there is a certain feeling of inevitability about this news.
In what may be a related development, Universal abit also announced today that it is moving its Taiwan HQ to a location near to the Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei, which hosted many of the leading vendors at the Computex show this year.
It looks like the margins have become too tight for all but the largest mainboard makers to survive, with massive companies like Foxconn able to exploit extreme economies of scale.
If competitive pressures have become too great for abit to stay in the mainboard market, you have to wonder what the future holds for other second tier mainboard makers, of which there are still quite a few. This may not be the last casualty in this market before the end of the year.
Let us know your thoughts about this news. Will abit be missed? What are the implications of the apparent consolidation happening in the mainboard market? Let us know in the HEXUS.community.