The trend of diversification in the motherboard industry keeps growing this year. At the Computex Taipei exhibition to be held early next month, more motherboard makers are expected to showcase their latest system products, ranging from LCD monitors, LCD PCs to barebone systems.
The barebone system has become a new product line favored by both first and second-tier board makers. In addition to the models of more traditional size, companies like Shuttle and Jetway Information have also entered the market with mini-barebone systems. Shuttle said that given the special form feature, sales of the products have continued growing since launch. In the first quarter of 2002, the company sold 50,000 units, equal to its overall sales in 2001.
Shuttle indicated that due to the slow season, its barebone system shipments dropped to 15,000 units in April. However, the figure is expected to rise to 15,000-20,000 units this month, as volume production of its Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Athlon-based model begins. The company predicts that the product line will be able to contribute 30% of its overall revenues in 2002.
Jetway is another company launching mini-barebone system products. It has already received orders for Pentium III-based models from Japanese vendors. Volume shipments are set to start at the end of May or early June. Jetway plans to showcase its P4-based model at the Computex Taipei.
Other companies that are scheduled to roll out new barebone system products at Computex Taipei include Acorp Electronics (mini-barebone systems) and Biostar Microtech International (standard barebone systems).
In addition to the barebone systems, LCD PCs and LCD monitors are two new favorites among motherboard manufacturers. In the LCD PC business, Shuttle has decided to halt the launch of its own-brand LCD PC, the Xbook, due to the rising price of LCD panels, while both Micro-Star International (MSI) and Gigabyte Technology recently announced their intention to enter the market. As for LCD monitors, companies that have extended their business scope to the area include Jetway and Gigabyte.