Bottom drops out of workstation market

Sales of workstations fell by 26.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, largely a result of the global economic slump.

Analyst Alex Herrera, from Jon Peddie Research, said that 567,000 machines shipped in the calendar quarter, a sequential decline of 24.5 percent and 26.9 percent compared to the same quarter of 2008.

Average selling prices also fell in the quarter down 16.5 percent from the same period a year ago. While some of this is to do with the recession, Ferrera said Intel’s workstation cycle didn’t help. Intel launched its Tylersburg and Nehalem Xen in the beginning of the second quarter, which left old stock mouldering in the warehouses.

Although the large decline in ASPs shows that buyers were keeping their purses closed in the first quarter, that allowed Dell to make hay while the workstation sun didn’t shine – it grew its share of the global workstation market to 42.1 percent, with HP’s share sliding gently sliding down to 36.5 percent.

Herrera said it’s not all gloom and doom in the workstation market because the closely related graphics hardware market was flat rather than falling.