Funky Kit is proud to present an exclusive interview with ASRock, makers of motherboards and PC components. In this Q&A session, we ask Clarinda about ASRock’s plans for 2013 and 2014, the future of the company and what new products we can expect going forward. Let’s find out more …
Winston: Q1. Tell our readers more about yourself, the company and a little bit about its history.
Clarinda: ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.
ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets at entry to mainstream segment MB business, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency. Further information, please visit: http://www.asrock.com/. Or you can check the attached picture for our milestone.
Winston: Q2. Over the past few years, your company have grown from strength to strength. What plans does the company have in place for the second half of 2013?
Clarinda: We are proud to be known as the first tier brand in motherboard industry. As the leader in motherboard innovation, ASRock constantly pushes the boundaries of innovation, resulting in features and high-end motherboard technologies.
In 2012 ASRock motherboard shipment was nearly 8 million units. Compared with first half of 2012, ASRock overall revenue has risen 5.24% in first half of 2013. In the second half of 2013, with Intel new 8 series platform launch in June, we are looking forward to increase 5-8% shipment volume compared with 2013 Q1Q2. Our full Motherboard product line from Gaming series, Extreme series to Overclocking series will provide end-users with reasonable price, premium quality and best performance.
In addition to the MB products, ASRock also start to enter the IPC market, we have joined 2013 Design West in United States and ESEC exhibition in Japan, and we will join another IPC & embedded EXPO in China in Aug. In 2012 ASRock has already built up a solid sales channel in Japan, Korea and South East Asia, currently ASRock is looking to its promising growth in Europe, Australia and United States. The overall effort on industrial motherboards has gradually drawn great performance in 2012; ASRock’s goal is to triple the growth of industrial motherboards in 2013 compared with 2012
Besides, BMW Group DesignworksUSA has teamed up with ASRock to design a very compact Gaming PC named M8, The stylish and streamlined design using anodized aluminum and steel makes M8 an eye catcher in 2013 COMPUTEX at ASRock booth. We expect to promote and sell this new Gaming PC in several selected developed region such as Europe, US, Japan, HK and Taiwan in August.
Winston: Q3. Can we expect some new exciting products? If so … can you spill the beans?
Clarinda: Definitely M8! That awesome gaming rig we’ve been in collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, it is going to hit the shelves real soon.
Winston: Q4. I’ve noticed over the past 12 months, a lot of manufacturers have shifted their focus to cater for the mobile and notebook markets. Is this something that your company will be expanding on?
Clarinda: Currently, ASRock is tightly focused on developing innovative motherboard products for DIY consumers, industrial PC and server/workstation business markets. We do not have new plans to join the mobile’, notebooks’ or tablets’ competition right now. However, ASRock’s motherboards can be used to run many kinds of applications. We are scrambling to find new growth opportunities as long as users want ASRock.
Winston: Q5. Any big plans for next year in 2014?
Clarinda: Yes, we’ve got huge plans lined up already, but we aren’t letting the cat out of the bag yet. Just wait and see, as always we won’t disappoint!
Winston: Q6. The popularity of PC gaming, eSports, mobile gaming are on the rise, especially in Europe and Asia. Has your company taken advantage of this rising niche market?
Clarinda: ASRock has been taking PC gaming or eSports as an important marketing tool for global branding exposure. To take advantage of this market, ASRock started cooperating with Johnathan Fatal1ty Wendel, who has won 12 major world champion titles in five different games, to create ARSock’s gaming series motherboard. Furthermore, ASRock became the only designated motherboard brand for TeSL (Taiwan eSports League). This year, ASRock announced to sponsor two world’s top gaming teams, Incredible Miracle from Korea and SK Gaming from Germany.
With the tight cooperation and marketing strategy with these top gamers and gaming teams, ASRock will expand its reputation and brand image in this rising niche market.
Winston: Q7. What percentage in market share do you think your company has over its competitors?
Clarinda: ASRock is the World’s top 3 motherboard brand and the distribution channels are cover electronics stores, PC stores, gadget retailers and online shop. Major sales regions in 2012 included Asia Pacific region accounted for 45.09%, Europe for 34.64%, Central and South America mainly accounted for 17.22%, and other markets accounted for only 0.67%. As a whole, ASRock accounted for a large proportion of sales in Asia and Europe in terms of overall performance.
Winston: Q8. The Asian market is a tough one, especially with so many manufacturers/brands… will your company look to expand in that area?
Clarinda: ASRock has significant growth in Asia in recent years. ASRock has been the No. 1 motherboard brand for six quarter straight in Korea, where the prevailing gaming industry demands the best hardware to optimize the competition results. ASRock is also the second best selling motherboard in Japan, where the PC industry is highly developed. ASRock market share in APAC region has been soaring and contributes incrementally to ASRock global revenue. We look up to the Asia market can be the bellwether to drive ASRock global growth, and we will focus on expanding into the Chinese market in 2013 to gain support from local vendors. Shipments within China are expected to reach 30-percent, up from 20-percent in 2012.
Winston: Q9. Now for something different. What do you think of Funky Kit? And finally you personal thoughts (feel free to express yourself).
Clarinda: Funky Kit is a very cool webiste with various updated products information. It provides the latest reviews，news, hardware, market information to global end users. I usually search the new gadget via Funky Kit. For me, it is a very interesting and useful tool.
We greatly appreciate to the cooperation with Funky Kit those years, ASRock products are best known for their innovative and creative ideas. We have produced some iconic mobos that were widely discussed in the mobo industry.
As a vice president of sales and marketing in ASRock, I love to provide our latest products to Funky Kit for review. For ASRock, we will continue invest on the DIY and also seek for the chances to combine both HW and SW together. We already increase our investment in the software to offer better product to customers. I think that SW will play a more important role in the future.