In terms of motherboard shipments, Gigabyte plays second fiddle to Asus, but a role reversal could be in the cards for both companies. Gigabyte is on pace to end the year with up to 2 million more motherboard shipments than what it was able to achieve in 2011, while Asus' volume is expected to drop by about 1.1 million, reducing the gap between these two juggernauts by just a few million units.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Gigabyte's motherboard shipments will reach 18.5 million to 19 million units by the end of 2012, compared to 17 million in 2011. Meanwhile, Asus is expected to ship 22.2 million units, down from 23.2 million on year ago. If those forecasts hold up, Gigabyte will have cut the shipment gap almost in half.
The next closest competitor to either company is ASRock, which is expected to ship 8 million motherboards by the end of the year, followed by MSI with 6 million units and both Biostar and ECS with 4.5 million units each.
It will be interesting to see how all this pans out over the course of the next 12 or so months. The trend right now is towards mobile, though clearly there's still a market for desktops, both pre-built and home brewed.