Motherboard makers are adjusting outlooks to reflect weaker-than-expected demand for the second half of 2012, according to DigiTimes. Unnamed industry sources said that unit shipments in the latter half of this year will fall below the figures recorded during the first half, despite the approaching holiday season, a period that traditionally stimulates demand -- especially during years when Microsoft releases a new operating system.
If we understand the report, the sources spoke specifically about DIY hardware such as the name brand boards you'd buy on Newegg for a new PC, which suggests that perhaps sales of OEM boards used in retail desktops are doing fine. The sources offered several reasons for DIY segment's slump, with strong sales of the iPad, notebooks and pre-built desktops supposedly accounting for a significant portion of the weakened demand.
The strong performance of tablets and other such machines are projected to result in a sales drop of up to five million branded motherboards this year. With demand slipping, the sources note that players will be forced to compete against increasingly cutthroat pricing, particularly in the entry-level and mid-range markets. Manufacturers unable to endure such tight margins will naturally lose sales and even the major names are feeling the heat.
Although DigiTimes didn't mention this, it would be interesting to know how much the longer-than-usual console generation has affected enthusiast hardware sales. With the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 so far behind the horsepower of modern PC hardware, there have been relatively few highly demanding games in recent years, so it would stand to reason that many enthusiasts have simply felt less pressure to open their wallets.