The PC market might be down, but there are still a few bright spots. Gamers haven’t gone anywhere and long-term forecasts indicate they will continue spending plenty of hard earned cash on new toys. Professionals are another breed of PC user that can’t afford not to upgrade.
According to IDC’s quarterly workstation tracker, shipments of personal workstations in EMEA grew 3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013. The previous five quarters were in the red.
Interestingly, the growth is not coming from desktop workstations. It remained flat, with 0.1 percent growth. However, the mobile workstation segment saw 10.9 percent growth. Mobile appears to be the flavour of the day in many markets, especially in the Nordics. Mobile workstations are quite a bit more expensive than their desktop counterparts, and they aren’t as easy to upgrade or customize, but the appeal of taking a workstation on the road is simply too compelling for many people.
“In addition to tighter competition over the last year and a half, the major workstation vendors – Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Lenovo – were facing tougher market conditions,” said Mohamed Hefny, senior analyst with IDC’s systems and infrastructure department. “The sovereign debt crisis forced the public sector to follow strict policies regarding hardware investments, financial uncertainty pushed the enterprise sector to extend the refreshment cycle for another year, and SMBs often opted for high-end commercial PCs, as the performance gap with workstations is reduced when they are paired with professional discrete graphic cards.”
The 2014 outlook is even better. IDC expects 6.2 percent year-on-year growth in volume and 3.2 percent growth in value. As major European markets emerge from recession, demand for workstations is expected to pick up even further.