SAN FRANCISCO--The workstation market could be seeing a slow but meaningful comeback, according to recent analyst numbers.
Jon Peddie Research has released a report indicating that approximately 1.02 million workstations have shipped worldwide in the third quarter, representing what the firm calls “robust” growth with a 12.5 percent increase sequentially, and 20.1 percent year-over-year.
With economic turmoil rocking the tech world on a seemingly ongoing basis, stable sales and marginal growth have become the new bellwethers for success, according to JPR, with even slight gains serving to give the market a confidence a boost.
“The quarter saw a new high-water mark for the market, marking the first time shipments have exceeded 1 million units,” a JPR report said adding that the industry hadn't seen anything resembling normal behavior for quite some time.
Peddie analyst Alex Herrera said the third quarter represented a “meaningful push forward," though there is still some doubt whether the growth can last.
“Global economic uncertainty remains in abundant supply. The financial picture in Europe continues to change on a daily basis - one minute, it's a doomsday scenario and the next a light appears at the end of the tunnel,” Herra said, explaining that confidence could not fully return until the financial volatility subsided.
“We have no strong confidence that the workstation market (or any market, for that matter) will find a steady pace forward," he wrote.
On Monday (Dec 12) even tech giant Intel was forced to slash its fourth quarter guidance by 6.8 percent, citing a shortage of hard disk drives (HDDs) due to the Thailand floods as the reason. The Thai crisis has had a serious impact on almost all sectors of the PC market, with many firms forced to reign in their financial expectations for the coming quarters.
Despite revising its forecast, however, Intel is still projecting solid growth for the fourth quarter, something the rest of the tech industry can take as a positive sign. IDC has also recently said that the launch of Sandy Bridge along with continued enterprise adoption of Windows 7, should help to accelerate the PC replacement cycle and drive semiconductor demand for the Computing segment in the New Year.
In terms of workstations, Hewlett Packard has managed to retain its top spot in the market, despite recent confusion over whether it intends to stay in the hardware business. Dell sits in second place, with Lenovo bringing up a more distant third thanks to a partnership with NEC.
The professional graphics market, too, has shown some resilience, with Nvidia continuing to dominate the workstation market with its professional Quadro cards, while AMD continues to try and break into the market with its FirePro offerings.