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Motherboard market falters

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – A report from Taiwanese quango the Market Intelligence Institute (MIC) said that sales of motherboards fell to 32 million units in the first quarter of 2009 – a decline of 16 percent year on year.

MIC said that sales were helped by an increase of demand in the “clone market”, from low inventory levels, and the peak season in the Chinese market.

The value of the motherboard market in the first quarter of 2009 is a not insignifant $1.50 billion, said MIC.

Even though the market in the USA slowed down, sales of mobos exceeded the general thrust of the economy. But Europe had the most severe slowdown, although some East European markets showed some level of demand.

Said Vincent Chang, MIC industry analyst: “As credit risks have not completely disappeared, motherboard makers are careful in their shipments, affecting the scale of shipments to these market.”

He said that the second calendar quarter of 2009 is not going to be a shining light in the gloom of the world economy.

“Markets in each region are entering the off-season, and channel inventory replenishment activities are slowing down. Market shipment momentum is thus weakening. Only several PC brands have continued to make procurements in April.”

He forecasts that a tight supply of key components will come to an end by the month of May.

Opportunities in the enterprise market are limited, while the consumer market is affected by the desktop replacement effect. Or lack of it. He estimates that worldwide motherboard shipments for the whole of 2009 will only be 134 million units, a nine percent drop compared to 2008.