by September 6, 2004 0 comments

Creative wins the first year this segment is introduced. Coming in at a surprisingly close second is Mercury (Kobian) followed by nVidia, ATI, Gigabyte and SiS, in that order.

Obviously, it is a very crowded market out there, and there is a mix of card vendors and chipset vendors in the list. This is not surprising given the strong branding and association that the graphics chipset has in the users’ minds. Gigabyte and SiS seem to be playing in the more
price-conscious markets.

When chipset and motherboard manufacturers, particularly Intel, started building in graphics capabilities on to the motherboard itself, there were serious concerns on the longevity of the graphics card market. However, any concerns in that direction have been short-lived, with the market for separate graphics cards being driven by graphics-intensive applications, in particular, gaming.

What is the ownership level for these cards? A third of the respondents claim to have an extra graphics cards fitted on their systems. Perhaps that is not surprising given that the respondents were identified as being exceptionally “IT savvy”. In current ownership, Mercury is slightly ahead of Creative. To that extent, we are seeing a shift away from Mercury to Creative. Loyalty scores for all brands in this segment are very high compared to other segments. It is highest at 100 percent for nVidia, followed by 92 percent for ATI and 81 percent for Creative.

There is a very clear segmentation even amongst the Users’ Choice Club. On the one side you have the graphics chipset brands ATI and nVidia with very, very high loyalty and shifts, if any, will be to one another only. On the other hand are the card brands, where loyalty is lower, and shifts will be more to other card brands than to chipset brands. Given that the card brands such as Creative and Mercury use chipsets from the chipset vendors in their products, the higher loyalty to the chipsets will translate to sales for the card brands. 

Coming to brand shifts, Mercury faces a 22 percent shift to Creative, and smaller shifts to other brands. Creative, on the other hand, faces small shifts to all brands. Creative also stands to gain the most from the other brands that did not make it to the Users’ Choice Club.

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