Asustek preps low-cost motherboards for launch

Asustek preps low-cost motherboards for launch

When it comes to choosing a motherboard, users around the world will soon have a new choice. Asrock, a subsidiary of Taiwanese motherboard maker Asustek Computer, has been shipping several low-cost motherboard models to distributors around the world since October and the boards are expected to soon hit the street.

Based in Tamsui, Taiwan, Asrock was established by Asustek to target price-conscious consumers and users in emerging markets, said William Fong, an equity analyst at Primasia Securities in Taipei. Asrock is also going after rival motherboard maker Elitegroup Computer Systems, he said.

Elitegroup, which shipped more than 2 million motherboards during October, has been a thorn in the side of leading motherboard makers, grabbing market share from rivals by setting lower prices for its motherboards, Fong said. While Asustek's motherboards sell for an average of about $US80, Elitegroup sells its motherboards for approximately $40 on average, he said.

Asrock is expected to counter this challenge by pricing its motherboards at an average of less than $50 and is expected to get off to a strong start, with initial shipments of between 100,000 to 200,000 motherboards per month, Fong said. "One advantage is that they are fully backed by Asustek with its strong brand and R&D capabilities," he said.

To support its business overseas, Asrock has already established a subsidiary in the Netherlands and has a network of distributors in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Russia, according to the company. "Distribution will not be a problem for Asrock," Fong said.

Asrock offers five motherboard models, according to the company. Three of the models support Intel's Pentium 4 processor and three support AMD's Athlon XP chip.

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