So I guess the two biggest Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers, Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology, have been engaged in a bit of a price war in their native land, trying to maintain shipment levels and market share. Unfortunately, this is cutting into the shipments and market share of some "second-tier" motherboard makers like Biostar, MSI, ASRock, and ECS.

Our source at DigiTimes reports:

"...ASRock and Micro-Star International (MSI) are expected to see 2015 shipments drop to 6.5 million units and six million units respectively and Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and Biostar Microtech International to 2.8-3.0 million units each, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers."

This already compounds things for Biostar and ASRock. Biostar posted losses in 2014, due to both low shipment numbers that year and the investment in a PCB player in China. ASRock's problems are more immediate, as they also have to contend with a drop in demand in Europe and Intel delaying its Skylake CPUs to the third quarter.

Fortunes for MSI and ECS are looking better, due to increased profits from their notebook business in the past couple years. MSI has focused primarily on gaming and performance systems, while ECS has gone more for education PCs and SFF products.

As much as we like ASUS and Gigabyte boards here, we also like competition. Here's hoping the future still remains bright for these "second-tier" manufacturers.

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