JPR: Workstation market behaved as expected in the second quarter of 2011

It’s been a while since the workstation market could be described as normal. All things considered, normal is fine.

Completing analysis of the workstation and professional graphics market for the second quarter of 2011, Jon Peddie Research senior analyst Alex Herrera finds that after the big economic bust of two years ago, followed by an atypically strong growth pattern last year, the market has calmed down in 2011.

Not since the first half of 2008 has the market showed any kind of sustainable growth pattern or even typical cyclical behavior. The market at the end of 2008 and into 2009 saw the same economic collapse that virtually every global market experienced, technology-based or not. And 2010 saw a very welcome rebound with gains that roughly compensated for 2009’s losses, with a strong growth pace that was simply unsustainable long term.

Workstation shipments by quarter, 2004-2011. (Source: Jon Peddie Research)

Finally but as expected, the market settled down in 2011, taking on a more typical and cyclical pattern. Q1 saw a 4.8% sequential decline, and that really indicated a flat market more than anything, as Q1 often sees a drop-off from end-of-year Q4 buying. Conversely, the second quarter normally sees a modest sequential bump, and a bump there was, as Q2 delivered 906.8 thousand workstations shipped worldwide, representing 5.4% sequential growth.

HP widens the gap; Lenovo shows the most growth

At 42.3% of units in the second quarter, HP is now the clear leader of the workstation market, further distancing itself from number two Dell, at 33.8%. But the growth story from the second quarter came not from the leader but from number three Lenovo, which jumped from 7.9% to 9.9% share of worldwide units

Tracking workstations, the closely related market for professional graphics hardware was essentially flat as well. All told, the industry—for all intents and purposes, Nvidia and AMD—shipped one and a quarter million units (add-in cards and mobile GPUs), up a typical, cyclical 4.9% sequentially. Commanding 80.9% of total units, Nvidia continues to hold a dominant position in the market. But AMD has been making significant gains of late, taking control of 18.5% of units in the second quarter, a level more than doubled from its low of mid-2008.