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Gigabyte to launch second-brand motherboards in March

First-tier Taiwanese motherboard maker Gigabyte Technology will promote a second, entry-level brand to expand its sales, according to sources. Gigatrend, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gigabyte, will handle marketing of the second-brand motherboards, with volume shipments starting in March, according to sources at Gigabyte, which sold an estimated 13.75 million motherboards in 2003.

Gigabyte's move follows that of other Taiwanese motherboard makers, including Asustek Computer and Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), which have launched second brands to target different markets. Asustek's motherboards are available under the Asus and ASRock brands, while ECS sells its products under its own brand and the PC Chips brand. Gigatrend has yet to decide the branding for its motherboards, the sources said.

Initially, Gigatrend will outsource production to its parent company, the sources said. But for the price-conscious entry-level market, Gigatrend will be forced to outsource production of entry-level boards to contract manufacturers to lower costs. ASRock outsources about 50% of its production to contract makers in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province (China). Gigatrend is also likely to outsource production to other Taiwanese companies in China, including ECS and Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry), the sources said.

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