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The workstation market declined five per cent during the first quarter of this year, making it one of the hardest hit segments in the IT spending slowdown.

That's according to the latest statistics from analysts Gartner Dataquest, which reports a preliminary figure for workstation shipments of 358,829 in Q1 2002, down 5.4 per cent on the 379,296 shipments recorded in Q1 2001.

Dell extended its lead as the top vendor in worldwide workstation shipments, as its market share grew to 37.5 percent. IBM was the only other top-tier vendor in 2001 to experience an increase in shipments from the previous year, according to Gartner Dataquest.

Uncertainty surrounding the HPaQ merger and negative sentiment about Intel's Itanium also contributed in weak spending, the analysts note.

"The worldwide market is hampered by uncertainty because the US economy continues to be soft and the pending HP-Compaq merger may be leaving some end users undecided on product roadmaps. There are also signs of saturation in the U.S. workstation market," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst covering workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group. "In addition, there is little technological innovation to get excited about, with possible exception of notebook workstations, and the future of the Itanium product family is still undecided.

"All this uncertainty leads to conservatism in IT spending," she added. ®

Preliminary Worldwide Workstation Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q02 (units)
Company 1Q02 Shipments 1Q02 Market Share (%) 1Q01 Shipments 1Q01 Market Share (%) Growth(%)
Dell 134,700 37.5 109,048 28.8 23.5
Sun Microsystems 62,000 17.3 85,411 22.5 -27.4
Compaq 47,551 13.3 48,011 12.7 -1.0
IBM 46,303 12.9 40,829 10.8 13.4
Hewlett-Packard 36,600 10.2 56,611 14.9 -35.3
Others 31,676 8.8 39,386 10.4 -19.6
Total Market 358,829 100.0 379,296 100.0 -5.4

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