The renowned Hercules brand of graphic cards is about to become extinct following French-based PC outfit Guillemot Corporation’s decision to pull out of the saturated graphics card and LCD monitor markets.
According to a company statement, Guillemot decided to progressively withdraw due to the very weak gross margins it had been making in the graphics board and monitor markets.
Guillemot has already begun adapting its teams and business structures in order to focus on new growth markets that yield higher and more stable margins. It is focusing its R&D efforts on a range of products employing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.
The Hercules brand will not disappear completely, however. Guillemot plans to use the Hercules name to promote audio and video editing tools and some of its new wireless-enabled products.
UK news service The Register said Guillemot would maintain technical support for the Hercules graphics cards and LCDs currently on the market, which come with a three-year warranty.
Product marketing manager for Guillemot distributor BCN Technology, Ian Medcalfe, said he was surprised by the vendor’s decision to exit the graphics card market.
“I’m disappointed because it’s a very good brand; but those markets are tough," he said. "The Hercules graphics cards are more targeted at the high end and we’re now seeing more demand for low-end cards, especially as reference boards are improving. Less manufacturers are putting in their own R&D on graphics card technology as the manufacturing of reference boards [boards primarily designed by graphics chip manufacturers] has gotten better.”