Abit cuts debt but remains mired in uncertainty

DigiTimes has news on Abit’s plans to sell its office in Taipei for NT$1.7 billion. The cash will be used to retire part of the company’s loans and reduce overall debt, but there seem to be serious questions regarding Abit’s long-term health.

Even a quick glance at the financial information provided by DigiTimes demonstrates the problem. Abit’s sales have dropped 96% year-on-year. As of October 31, Abit’s net worth had fallen to NT$1.7 billion, down from NT$10.8 billion in November of 2004. Taiwan’s security regulatory agency has requested Abit re-file all financial statements from 2003, 2004, and part of 2005; Abit is threatened with delisting from the Taiwan Stock Exchange if it fails to comply.

What began as an investigation into accounting problems that Abit assured us would blow over "in two weeks" has stretched into a year-long saga with no end in sight. Abit sales have sunk like a rock, and the company has announced it plans to sell its production facilities and will outsource future manufacturing.

Comments closed
    • IntelMole
    • 14 years ago

    We all want them to survive. Else it’s one less player.

    But they’re in deep trouble here. They have mucho debt, and have made virtually nothing in an industry dependant on heavy R&D.

    Shame.
    -Mole

    • --k
    • 14 years ago

    I cut my teeth on Tyan Tomcat boards, but didnt get into the overclocking until Abit BH6 boards. They will be missed.

    • geforce
    • 14 years ago

    Darn. Abit’s been one of my favorite motherboard manufacturers. My old TX5 is bulletproof and it just works, even with a K6-3. My KV7 was also a rock solid board which could handle a Mobile Barton Athlon XP @ 2.4GHz. It’s a shame to even think that such an innovator (SoftMenu, at least 3 OTES variants, vGuru, etc…) would fall by the wayside.

    • deinabog
    • 14 years ago

    This is really a damn shame. My first PC was built around Abit’s AX5 Socket 7 motherboard. I’ve owned their BX6 and BF6 motherboards too. I switched over to ASUS a few years back but this still breaks my heart.

    Abit, I’m gonna miss thee :(.

    • Contingency
    • 14 years ago

    The first mobo I bought was a BH6, but the last Abit board I owned was a KR7a-133R.

    I’ve been using Asus and Gigabyte boards for a while now, but I got the impression that Abit stuck with Via’s lackluster chipsets far longer than they should have.

    lol @ “enthusiast Via motherboard”

    • welby
    • 14 years ago

    All of my favorite boards have been Abits. I’m really going to miss them. But this is really a case of criminal corruption rather than a case of the company failing in the market. I’ve been trying to follow the case since it began, but really only Digitimes has any news on it at all. But I do know that everything started going down real fast when the Taiwan government halted trading of their stock and told most of their top executives not to leave Taiwan. Apparantly their was large scale embezzelment and lots of false financal reporting. Any company will go down in a hurry with that hanging over their head. Nobody’s going to extend them credit to get parts and materials; and without that you have nothing to sell. Hence the precipitous drop in sales. The people who worked at Abit as well as the customers who loved their products got screwed by a handful of dirtbags.

      • just brew it!
      • 14 years ago

      Kinda like the Enron of motherboards, eh?

        • Mr Bill
        • 14 years ago

        Too many golden fingers, boosting their core business?

    • Bensam123
    • 14 years ago

    I’ve always liked and bought Abit boards. I really don’t understand how a company can go under when (atleast in my experience) their boards have been top notch. I consider their boards on par with Asus.

    I guess I’ll have to start buying Asus for my premium boards 🙁

      • hardwarenewbie
      • 14 years ago

      It doesn’t matter how good your products are. If people aren’t willing to pay for them, your company will go down, since you can’t expect to invest millions into R&D quarter after quarter out of your own pocket.

        • Bensam123
        • 14 years ago

        People buy Abit’s products… That can’t be the reason why they’re going under…

        Just look at most the comments in this topic. Everyone I’ve asked that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to boards know they either go with Asus or Abit.

        And it can’t be too much investment in R&D… They aren’t ahead of Asus or any other decent motherboard manufacturer as far as defining features goes… They have some unique approaches to certain problems but other then that there isn’t anything that should cost them a arm and a leg.

        I could think of a half a dozen features you can add to a motherboard that would fit their market and I don’t have a cost.

    • Mr Bill
    • 14 years ago

    I’ll miss them. The KA7-100 is one of my favorite boards. Abit gave us soft bios support with a satisfying array of tweaks and expandability in the form of extra memory and PCI slots. Maybe that was the problem, they had no cut to the bones boards for Dell to use.

    I have three KA7-100’s. Sure all three needed their caps replaced. But they fixed two of them for free, I call that good tech support. I never got around to sending the third. Guess I’d better try before they are gone.

    • Synchromesh
    • 14 years ago

    I, for one, am very glad that Abit is going down. Their tech support was absolutely horrible, and after I got burned with their VIA-based PIII board I vowed to not buy Abit or VIA products for myself in the forseeable future.

    Just recently a friend of mine who had a fried Socket A Abit board tried to get an RMA and they started asking him for a receipt for a 2-year-old board which was supposed to be covered by their 3 year warranty. When he failed to produce the receipt they refused the RMA so he got stuck with a dead board.

    This is why I buy Asus’ Nvidia-based boards now. They don’t ask for receipts or junk like that. Granted, they’re a bit more expensive but their “no questions asked” RMA service is worth the premium imho. I hope Abit fries and their dead motherboards go to PC hell where they have to work with Mac components :).

      • 5150
      • 14 years ago

      I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

      • Sanctusx2
      • 14 years ago

      I used to use Abit way back in the Thunderbird days. After stability problems with a few boards(probably due to VIA chipset) I ended up switching to Asus and have never looked back.

      I liked them for being one of the few that catered to the enthusiast. Since most of the other big manufacturers now provide all the BIOS love we used to crave there’s no good compelling reason to go with Abit anymore. Hell, even Asus is going out on a limb these days with SLI and 8-phase cooling.

      I thank Abit for helping show the world that there was, in fact, an enthusiast market for computer hardware. They seem to be a victim of their own success as other motherboard manufacturers have caught up and surpassed them in their own market.

    • Krogoth
    • 14 years ago

    ABIT is not really special anymore and like the other said no real OEM backbone to rely on. They tried to cater to the ethuasiast, but end up catering to the hardcore gamers with $$$$$. ABIT spend way too much on marketing with all the Fata1ity deal and blinging up their performance line of boards. It is sad to see another good motherboard manufacuturer to go down the tubes.

    At least, DFI has taken the gap that Abit left behind. EpoX has been an underdog choice for ethusiast and it will be for a while yet. MSI is slowly rising up to challange ASUS and have recently made several good ethusiast boards. ASUS still has its’ OEM backbones and makes consistant products that usually work, but IMO command too much of a price prenium.

    • Vrock
    • 14 years ago

    Rampant speculation follows, feel free to dis me if you want:

    As anyone who has ever manipulated blocks of jumpers to set bus speeds and multipliers can tell you, it’s a PITA. ABIT made its fame with the Softmenu bios and jumper-less boards. At the time, that was new and fresh, so it became hugely popular. Nerds everywhere rejoiced, and ABIT became the DIY and overclocker board of choice for many.

    Nowadays, with multiplier overclocking pretty much a thing of the past, and nearly all enthusiast boards being jumperless and having feature-filled bioses, ABIT just ain’t that special anymore. The problem they had with capacitors a while back didn’t help either. Plus they don’t have the OEM deals that the likes of MSI, Asus, etc do, so that means the vast majority of their profits came from the retail sector. It just seems they stopped innovating and being a market leader and were content to rest on their laurels. You can’t do that when you don’t have OEM deals to fall back on for profit. Oh well. It’s too bad, but there are plenty of other good manufacturers out there.

    • Reputator
    • 14 years ago

    Pretty sad, really.

      • Shark
      • 14 years ago

      Why?

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 14 years ago

    A 96% fall in profit is easily understandable, but a 96% fall in sales – are you sure?

      • just brew it!
      • 14 years ago

      Read the linked DigiTimes article, and look at the tables of financial results. They’re not talking about a decline in profits, they are definitely referring to sales. According to the numbers, their sales volume has imploded, and they have been /[

    • BabelHuber
    • 14 years ago

    I wonder what kind of impact the nature of the relationship between Abit and Nvidia has had:

    Abit made the switch from Nvidia to ATi graphic cards (in 2003 IIRC). After that it took Abit a long time to release Nvidia NForce mainboards for the Athlon64. I remember only seing Abit mainboards with VIA chipset for Athlon64 when I bought my last PC in March 2004. I would definitely have bought an Abit NF3 board back then if it had existed, and I think a lot of people felt that way back then.
    The Fatality-boards were too little, too late.

    OTOH Abit always has made good mainbaords with Intel chipsets, too. Why the sales of these dropped so hard, I don’t know.

      • mongoosesRawesome
      • 14 years ago

      no one has been buying enthusiast intel boards – everyone switched to A64

    • flip-mode
    • 14 years ago

    Damn. They’ve made some of the most cherished boards in X86 history. What idiots. Hail DFI and Epox. Maybe that O. Woo guy saw the writing on the wall when he made the jump to DFI.

      • just brew it!
      • 14 years ago

      Yeah, I’m thinking DFI may be the heir apparent to the Abit throne (enthusiast mobo king). IMO DFI used to be just another generic mobo maker, along the lines of EPoX or Soyo. But I’ve been impressed with what they’ve been doing lately; and their tech support is light years ahead of the “big guys” like Asus. (Ever try to deal with Asus tech support? It really blows.)

    • FubbHead
    • 14 years ago

    Hmm.. Maybe time to start buy Abit boards, competition is good and in the case of Abit, they made quality

    • Lord.Blue
    • 14 years ago

    This really is a shame, my last 2 boards were Abit and I have had nothing but success on their forums, I guuess I am one of the lucky ones.

    • just brew it!
    • 14 years ago

    It’s pretty hard to survive a 96% drop in sales.

    RIP Abit.

    • kvndoom
    • 14 years ago

    Fatal1ty!!!

    • Convert
    • 14 years ago

    It really is a shame, they made some really great boards.

    I have had a feeling all along that they were pretty much done with. I think the community knew as well, whenever someone would say to stay away from abit boards due to uncertain support no one came to their defense. Even the die hard abit supporters seemed to quietly slip away.

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