Abit, well known for its enthusiast line of motherboards, graphics cards and accessories has announced a merger with Universal Scientific Industries Co. a smaller arm of ASE Global. Both ASE and its USI division offer services such as circuit/board design, silicon wafer probing, engineering tests, material procurement, assembly and a host of other manufacturing services. USI’s responsibilities are more specific with four major industries: communications, car electronics, computing, and consumer electronics such as wi-fi communications and A/V processing.
Abit’s merger with USI will allow USI to take advantage of Abit’s brand recognition and channel penetration. As the Abit brand name is well recognized in the industry, things are expected to be smooth sailing with ASI/USI at the helm. Some of ASI’s customers are:
Philips, Toshiba, Sony, Siemens, LSI Logic, Renesas, Conexant, VIA, ATI, NVIDIA, Silicon Image, IBM, and AMD just to name a few. USI alone has 6 large manufacturing facilities that no doubt will be a huge asset to Abit turning out more products. With 3 facilities in Taiwan, 2 in China and 1 in Mexico, we can be sure that Abit’s TTM (time to market) performance will satisfy its large customer base of gamers and enthusiasts.
We had the chance to speak to Abit’s Brand Manager, Lester Lau about the merger and asked him a few quick questions:
Can you bring us up to speed on the recently announced Abit-USI merger?
As many are aware of, ABIT has gone through some major financial restructuring over the past 8 months or so. We have been searching for a way to bring financial stability back to the organization. A few months ago, USI, along with several other companies, approached ABIT to see if there was a way to partner with ABIT and leverage ABIT’s brand and retail presence. USI is a major OEM with strong manufacturing capabilities and financial stability. Along with a global support network and diverse product manufacturing experience, we knew that they were a good fit for ABIT. Now, with the deal finalized, we can finally turn our focus back to the business of making ABIT products.
USI is actually a smaller branch of ASE Group. How does ASE affect Abit’s bottom line? Will we see extra additional benefits to the Abit line due to ASE’s large influence?
The effect of ASE Group is tough to fully calculate at the moment, as there are still many details to be figured out. What is certain is that their greater economies of scale will help make ABIT even more competitive in the marketplace, and also allow us to access a wider segment of users. Other than the high-end segments that ABIT has traditionally been strong, we are now looking towards the mainstream-value segment, and are planning to launch a new series of products in the second half of the year to address this market.
How does the merger affect the Abit brand? How does the merger affect the Fatal1ty brand?
As far as branding is concerned, the merger will not effect on our overall strategy. We will continue making products that target both the overclocking and gaming markets, and with the added clout of USI, we can also look towards diversifying our product offerings – something that I’m very much looking forward to as well. In the short term, however, we will be focusing on our core motherboard business, again targeting the mid- to high-end segments. The Fatal1ty series in particular has gotten a lot of attention lately, and we are looking to launch the next in the series around CeBIT time. With our new USI partners, we are excited to roll out the next generation of ABIT products for our users around the world.
Abit has been somewhat in limbo state for nearly a year, with the company restructuring and going through a financial reorganization. In terms of products, releases have been slow and there have been some major misses. However, with a large backing such as USI behind Abit, we can expect to see major changes and improvements to both Abit’s brand recognition, influence and product development.
Abit’s Executive VP states, “The past 15 months have certainly been trying times for ABIT, and we have to thank all the ABIT fans around for the world for their undying support throughout this most difficult period in ABIT’s history. Now, with USI’s manufacturing excellence and economies of scale, coupled with ABIT Engineering and innovation, we are confident that our combined resources will produce our most exciting ABIT products ever. To those who have stuck with us, we thank you — the best is yet to come.”
Other companies such as Tyan Computer also merged with large entities, such as Mitac, Taiwan’s super conglomerate to give boost to both sales and channel delivery performance. Tyan has been doing well since the merger 2 years ago and we should see the same type of benefits with Abit and USI.
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