The clouds appear to be clearing. Workstation vendors had to be relieved
by third quarter market results, as the industry found some
sorely-needed footing, yielding some positive - and very welcome -
gains. Jon Peddie Research has announced the release of the JPR
Workstation Report market quarterly for Q3'12, part of the firm's
industry-leading workstation research service.
Going back to fourth quarter of 2011, the workstation market had hit
some roadblocks, suffering three consecutive down quarters. But that
string was mercifully broken in the third quarter of this year. Alex
Herrera, JPR Senior Analyst and JPR Workstation Report author,
reports that workstation vendors shipped about 932 thousand branded
workstations, representing an increase of 5.5% over Q2'12. Especially
considering that third quarter shipments often take a dip after Q2, that
otherwise modest 5.5% figure is a sight for sore OEMs' eyes.
PCs and workstations are different
Good news in a PC-related marketplace How is that possible, when the PC
market is in a global slump and looking at a contraction for the year1
Well, the third quarter results are evidence that, despite sharing much
of the same core technologies, PCs and workstations aren't the same
thing. "Consumer-grade PCs might be suffering at the hands of tablets
and smartphones, but these alternative computing devices do not present
the same threat to workstations," points out Herrera.
"If your usage is limited to email, social media and web-browsing, then
a tablet might be an attractive replacement for yur PC, but the same
doesn't hold for professionals that demand the utmost in performance,
reliability and ergonomics. For engineers, scientists, researchers and
creators of all kinds, there is simply no substitute for a workstation."
"However," added Jon Peddie, "Tablets are finding their place alongside
workstations as engineers take them into the field for checking drawings
and capturing site data and pictures."
HP holds steady at #1, while Lenovo continues to make strides
With 41.4% of units sold, HP maintained unquestioned control over the
workstation market, clearly separating itself from Dell at 30.7%, down
from the previous quarter's 32.5%. Lenovo continued its record of
steady, rising to 13.3%, while Fujitsu rounded out the Tier 1 rankings
with 3.9%. Herrera estimates that non-Tier 1 suppliers were responsible
for the remaining 10.8%.
Professional graphics market perks up as well
The related market for professional graphics hardware had been stuck in
the same doldrums as workstations, but the third quarter yielded good
results for suppliers Nvidia and AMD as well. Sequentially, shipments
fell 3.4% to around 1.06 million units, including both deskside add-in
cards as well as mobile GPUs. But Herrera points out there were two
sides to that coin. "Mobile GPU shipments dropped dramatically for the
quarter, but that was likely one quarter's aberration, rather than an
indication of any systemic weakness in the segment," Herrera explained.
"Consider instead the 7.1% sequential gain in conventional professional
graphics add-in cards, and the quarter's results do far more to bolster
our confidence than erode it."
About the JPR Workstation Report
Now in its twelfth year, JPR's Workstation Report - Professional
Computing Markets and Technologies has established itself as the
essential reference guide for hardware and software vendors and
suppliers serving the workstation and professional graphics markets.
Subscribers to the JPR Workstation Report receive two in-depth
reports per year providing a comprehensive analysis of the vendors and
technologies driving the workstation platform. Clients also receive four
quarterly reports detailing and analyzing market results for each
calendar quarter. For information about purchasing the JPR Workstation
Report, please call 415-435-9368 or visit Jon Peddie Research at http://www.jonpeddie.com.
Based in Tiburon, California, Jon Peddie Research provides consulting,
research, and other specialized services to technology companies,
including graphics development, multimedia for professional applications
and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet-access
EDITOR'S NOTE: Excerpts from the JPR Workstation Report and expert
interviews are available on request.
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