Dell, HP Dominate a Workstation Market Mired in Tough Times

Dell and Hewlett-Packard dominate the workstation market, which is facing the same tough times as the rest of the mainstream PC market, according to new research from John Peddie. The same report also shows that Nvidia and ATI ?ö?ç?? the graphics division of AMD ?ö?ç?? remain the two biggest players in the professional graphics processor market.

The good news is that Dell and Hewlett-Packard continue to fight for market share when it comes to the global workstation market.

However, high-end workstations are suffering the same fate as the mainstream PC as the global economy continues to shrink and businesses spend less money on enterprise IT hardware, according to a March 5 report on the workstation market.

The John Peddie Research report shows that the worldwide workstation market took in $1.58 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared with the $2 billion in revenue it saw during the fourth quarter of 2007. Workstation shipments also fell about 10 percent from 847,000 units in 2007 to 764,000 units in 2008.

The average selling price of workstations also fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter.

Workstations, which represent just a small fraction of the overall PC market, are suffering the same fate as mainstream consumer and commercial desktops and notebooks. On March 2, Gartner released a report that said PC shipments had hit their lowest point in about a decade. The only bright spot in the Gartner report is that sales of low-cost netbooks and other mininotebooks continue to be brisk in the economic downturn.

Even Dell, which controls about 40 percent of the world's workstation market, has signaled that it intends to shift more of its attention to netbooks and mininotebooks in the next year to increase sales.

While Dell dominates the workstation market, HP is a close second with about 38 percent market share, according to the John Peddie report.

The Peddie report also took a look at the professional graphics processor market. Overall, professional GPU (graphics processing unit) shipments fell 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Not surprising, Nvidia and its line of industrial discrete graphics for both desktops and laptops controlled 86 percent of this market, while ATI-the graphics chip division of Advanced Micro Devices-held 12 percent market share.