Trade Resources Industry Views Gaming Notebook Competition to Become Keener in H2

Gaming Notebook Competition to Become Keener in H2

Competition in the gaming notebook segment is surely to become keener in the second half of 2015 as notebook brands including Acer, Asustek Computer, Dell, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) together are expected to launch at least 10 new 15- to 17-inch gaming notebooks in the fourth quarter of the year.

Most notebook brands have stepped up efforts to strengthen their presence in the gaming notebook sector, a niche segment which was viewed previously as too small to be worth promoting, as sales of consumer notebooks have been slackening.

The frantic move into the gaming notebook segment also highlights notebook vendors' anxiety to ignite notebook sales prior to the arrival of Windows 10-based models scheduled in the third quarter of the year.

Acer resumed its gaming notebook business line recently and has re-launched a series of products under its Predator-sub-brand. More Predator notebooks are to be available in the second half.

Asustek will launch 5-6 gaming notebooks under the ROG (Republic of Gamers) brand in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Asustek has been looking to catch up with MSI and is considering establishing a team to specifically handle its gaming notebook R&D.

Dell, which stopped selling its Alienware gaming notebooks in Taiwan five years ago, has also re-launched the lineup in the local market. A top-end 17-inch Alienware was priced as high as NT$127,900 (US$4,157) when the model launched in March.

Gigabyte, which established the independent brand Aorus in 2014, launched two Aorus models recently. Additionally, the company plans to release a 15-inch gaming notebook, the Aorus X5, with maximized performance and hardware specifications. The Aorus X5 will be the first 15-inch dual-graphics gaming notebook on the market.

MSI has been enjoying brisk sales of its Dragon Army sub-brand gaming notebooks. Despite suffering losses in its motherboard business, MSI posted an EPS of NT$2.34 and NT$3.57, respectively, in 2013 and 2014, which were the envy of its motherboard peers.

MSI's EPS for the first quarter of 2015 reached NT$1.12, which was down slightly from a year earlier but still higher than most of its rivals.

Attracted by MSI's strong performance in the gaming notebook market, China-based Lenovo reportedly is interested in acquiring MSI's gaming notebook business unit in order to raise its competitiveness in the sector. MSI and Lenovo apparently have not yet reached a consensus for the proposed acquisition deal as MSI is unwilling to release the gaming notebook business unit which is operating with handsome profits.

But it remains to be seen whether MSI is able to continue generating enough profits from its gaming notebook lineup amid rising competition from rivals including Gigabyte, Asustek, Acer and Dell.

Thus, MSI, an ODM/OEM production partner of Lenovo, may miss the timing for selling its gaming notebook business unit to Lenovo if it fails to continue to maintain its competitive advantage in the segment.

Contribute Copyright Policy
Commentary: The Gaming Notebook Industry Heats up