NVIDIA launched its super successful GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards back in May, announcing they would be building their own 'Founders Edition' variants at the time. I remember thinking when NVIDIA announced the FE version of the cards, that it would begin hurting AIB partners - turning to YouTuber 'JayzTwoCents' and meeting his eyes with the same conclusion.
Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes has reported that due to 'increasing sales and profits earned by NVIDIA from PC-use graphics cards has prompted the company to actively promote sales of the Founders Edition graphics cards'. In other words, Founders Edition cards will be eating into the orders for the GTX 10 series partners' supply, resulting in price hikes and loss of sales for companies like ASUS, MSI, ZOTAC, GIGABYTE, and others.
Throughout 2016, the six largest graphics card suppliers in ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, Palit, ZOTAC, and Colorful - they made $159.4 million in profits. This saw NVIDIA interested in the growing graphics card market, and wanting to take a slice of that pie - even though the pieces of that pie, are selling NVIDIA pie - and it makes a share of those profits as the GPUs and resulting technology and trademarks are owned by NVIDIA.
The question is: how much further will NVIDIA go? Timed exclusive GeForce graphics card releases, where we could see the new GeForce GTX 2080 Founders Edition for example being made available on GeForce.com exclusively for 2-4 weeks, allowing for NVIDIA to maximise orders - and thus, profits. Could NVIDIA keep the best binned GPUs, making their Founders Edition cards some of the best overclockers because they're been cherry picked?
An interesting future ahead for NVIDIA and its partners, that's for sure.