In the second quarter, manufacturers shipped 602,000 of the high-end computers used by graphics professionals, engineers, and scientific researchers, up 4.4% from the first quarter and down 31% from the same period a year ago, Jon Peddie Research said. The decline was consistent with the drop reported in the previous quarter.
The consistency added "more evidence that demand has bottomed and a recovery is in the offing," the research firm said. "Considering the doom and gloom pervading global markets since last fall, Q2 '09 managed to deliver on expectations that were modest, yet critical to providing an indication of the market's direction."
In terms of revenue, the second quarter saw a year-to-year drop to $1.2 billion from $1.9 billion. In the first quarter, revenue reached $1.1 billion.
A bright spot in the latest numbers was in average selling prices, which stayed relatively flat in the second quarter after falling 7.1% in the first quarter, Jon Peddie Research said. The flat ASP in the second quarter was due to stabilizing demand and introduction of a new workstation platform, codenamed Nehalem, from Intel.
"Stable demand might not typically be cause for celebration, but in the context of very atypical recent history, it's a critical first step toward a return to the robust market conditions of '07 and early '08," the firm said.
InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Sun's future under Oracle. Download the report here (registration required).