Pricing pressures have taken their toll on the European workstation market, according to the latest figures from research firm IDC.
According to the company, the total Western European workstation market experienced a slight dip in its generated value in 1998, dropping two per cent to just over £4.2 billion. IDC said that increasingly competitive pricing that led to strong growth in terms of unit shipments was not accompanied by an equivalent growth in the value of the market.
However, the market grew 23 per cent overall in 1998 compared to the previous year and IDC said it expects a further compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent for the period between 1998 and 2003.
Lars Rasmussen, a senior analyst at IDC said that despite the drop in market value, market growth was strong, driven by a staggering increase in personal workstation shipments, which now account for more than three-quarters of all workstations shipped.
He commented: "The market today is dominated by the personal workstation segment and its PC-like business model carried over from the desktop market."
He added: "With frequent model updates and a lack of technical differentiators, vendors are competing on price and branding."
Rasmussen said that the vast majority of sales in the personal workstation segment come from PC upgrades where a company demands higher security and reliability as the desktop increasingly becomes integrated into mission critical IT infrastructures and tasks.
"Personal workstations will continue to drive growth and will gain wider acceptance in all application segments, enjoying increasing penetration into individual organisations as well as across all company sizes," he said.
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