The latest EMEA quarterly workstation tracker results from International Data Corporation (IDC) show 3% year-on-year growth in shipments in the second quarter of 2013, after five consecutive quarters of decline.
The fixed workstation segment was mainly flat, with growth of 0,1% in Q2 2013, while the mobile workstation segment posted healthy double-digit growth of 10,9% in the same period, year on year.

The latter is already the favourite form factor in many European countries, especially in the Nordic markets, despite being more expensive, as it offers more flexibility and the ability to extend the display to multiple monitors when docked, as well as better scalability with more RAM and battery capacities.

“In addition to tighter competition over the last year and a half, the major workstation vendors – Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo – were facing tougher market conditions,” says 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.”

In 2014, IDC forecasts 6,2% year-on-year growth in shipment volume of EMEA workstations and 3,2% growth in value. The future certainly looks better as France, Germany, and the UK, which represent the major workstation markets in EMEA, emerge from recession, and investment from sectors like auto manufacturing and banking resume, as entities in these industries seek to boost production and competitiveness.

End-user demand will be met by new models arriving to market in all-in-one and smaller form factors, as well as enhancements in rack and blade models to further support virtualisation.