Digitimes reports the end of PCs is near....
"With PC demand remaining weak and the PC DIY channel continuing to experience decreased sales in the first quarter of this year, motherboard and graphics card players pointed out that the market is already in a phase of decline and most players are mainly waiting for competitors to quit the market or turning to focus on other applications in order to survive.
The PC DIY channel has seen dropping sales during the past two years and the situation is especially worsening in China and this has greatly impacted motherboard players. To maintain their profits, most players have turned to focus on the gaming sector to push mid-range and high-end motherboards.
Although Intel has prepared new Kaby Lake processors and Optane Memory for the first quarter in the hopes to stimulate PC demand, but motherboard players' sales for Z270-based products that support Optane Memory were still weaker than expected. Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology each shipped less than four million motherboards in the first quarter and despite the motherboards' increased ASP, the players still see falling profits from the business.
In 2013, worldwide PC DIY motherboard shipments were around 75 million units, only down slightly from 80 million units in 2012. Among the volume, 15 million units were supplied to regional brand vendors, while 60 million units were used in PC DIY products.
However, the number dropped to 69 million units in 2014 and decrease over 20% on year in 2015 to reach 54 million units. In 2016, shipments dropped below 50 million units and are expected to drop another 10% in 2017.
However, Nvidia has greatly benefited from the graphics card market during the past two years despite the market also seeing falling demand. Since Nvidia has a dominant share in the market, it has gradually become influential with its downstream graphics card player partners in terms of giving supply priority, pricing, marketing and product designs.
Motherboard and graphics card players are also concerned about Nvidia's Founder Edition product line and believe the GPU giant is looking to compete against them for the most profitable sector, despite Nvidia having refused such a claim.
Since AMD is unlikely to achieve a major recovery in the short term, Nvidia is expected to continue owning strong control of the worldwide GPU industry, allowing it to have leadership in gaming notebook, desktop, graphics card as well as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) markets."