According to industry sources, Gigabyte Communications is reportedly looking to withdraw from the mobile handsets business after 11 years of unsuccessfully trying to establish a presence in the market. Gigabyte has been making mostly Windows smartphones of late, primarily as a white box manufacturer for a number of brands and carriers in Europe and elsewhere. The company also has an in-house brand called GSmart, which has a limited presence in Eastern Europe, China as well as the company’s home base of Taiwan. Last year, the company is said to have shipped a total of 300,000 GSmart-branded smartphones worldwide. Reports indicate, the company won’t be laying off employees currently working in its handsets business, but rather, will transfer them to other divisions within the company.
Gigabyte Communications is a subsidiary of Gigabyte Technology, known for making world class computer motherboards. The company reportedly shipped 4.8 million motherboards in Q1, 2015, as opposed to Asus’ 4.5 million shipments in the same quarter. While most recognize the brand for its range of motherboards, the company also makes graphics cards with both AMD (formerly ATI) and Nvidia GPUs, along with various other PC components including, but not limited to, desktop PC cases and SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) units. The company also makes server racks, server motherboards and networking equipment. The company’s PC components business has also taken a bit of a hit of late for multiple reasons. Firstly, due to lower PC shipments at the retail level on account of people postponing their purchases till Microsoft releases Windows 10. Secondly, because of hobbyist PC builders postponing their upgrade cycle as Intel is delaying the release of its next generation processors, codenamed Skylake.
The mounting losses from its smartphone business and the stagnant PC components business has most likely made Gigabyte throw in the towel here. Yet another Taiwanese electronics vendor, BenQ, is also reportedly not willing to invest any more money in its handsets business, after having reentered the smartphone biz last year. It bears mentioning here, that Gigabyte and BenQ are not the only Taiwan-based companies having serious issues with their respective smartphone businesses. HTC recently reported over 43% lower shipments for its latest flagship smartphone, the One M9, as compared to the company’s previous generation flagship, the HTC One M8.