Worldwide server shipments for the third quarter of 2008 increased 4,4% over the same quarter last year, while revenue for the same period declined 5,4%.
According to Gartner, worldwide server revenues totaled $12,7-billion for the quarter, as worldwide servers shipments reached 2,3-million units.
"Server shipments grew in the third quarter, but the spectre of constrained economies and tightened credit was felt in the revenue area," says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner. "What we¹ve seen is larger system purchases in the Unix area put in check.
"At the same time x86 servers were able to maintain some shipment momentum, but lower overall average x86 server selling prices resulted in a drop in revenue in the quarter for this server type as well.
"Evidence of a challenged RISC-Itanium Unix server area appeared in a fall of 16,1% in shipments and 10,8% in revenue," Hewitt adds.
The top five vendors all experienced a decline in revenue in the third quarter of 2008. IBM held the revenue lead in the worldwide server market for the quarter. This was fuelled by sales of both the System p and System z brands. IBM¹s overall revenue share lead over second-place Hewlett-Packard was 0,5% for the quarter.
In server shipments, HP grew 11,4 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007, and retained its worldwide server shipment lead. The share gap between it and second-place Dell increased 2,1 percentage points for the quarter. HP finished the quarter with its shipment market share reaching 31,2% for the period. HP¹s growth came from its ProLiant brands. HP pushed its blade server shipment share upward 3,9% to reach a total of 46,4% for the quarter.
Dell and Sun both posted shipment growth for the quarter at 3,3% and 2,9%, respectively. IBM's server shipments fell 3,5% and Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens' server shipments dropped 3,8% for the quarter.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments totaled more than 68 000 units in the third quarter of 2008, a 5,8% growth from the same period last year. Server revenue totaled $3,9-billion in the third quarter of 2008, a 5,4% decrease over the same quarter last year.
"Effects of a weaker economy bit the server market in the third quarter of 2008, which marked the first year-on-year decline in server revenues since the second quarter of 2006," says Errol Rasit, senior research analyst at Gartner. "However, server shipments continued to grow at 5,8%, demonstrating healthy performance in the x86 market."
Except for HP, all the other leading vendors experienced a decline in revenue in the third quarter of 2008. HP held the revenue lead in the EMEA server market for the quarter, with 0,9% year-on-year growth.
In server shipments, HP retained its market share which helped it maintain its number one position, with shipments increasing 14% year-on-year.
Rasit adds: "HP was the only vendor to exhibit a double-digit year-on-year growth demonstrating its dominance in the server market. Of the top five vendors, Dell was the only vendor to show growth but could not repeat its strong performance seen in the first half of 2008."
In the third quarter of 2008, RISC and Itanium Unix revenues declined 11,3% while units declined 20,1% year-on-year. Of the top five vendors in this segment, only Groupe Bull exhibited revenue growth. Sun saw the biggest revenue decline in this segment with -20,1% growth.
In the x86 market, total volumes in EMEA grew 7% from the third quarter of 2007. HP bolstered the growth and accounted for 14,9% market share, far outpacing any of its nearest rivals. In server shipments, Dell grew 4,3% year-on-year while IBM and FSC declined. The battle for fifth place continued in the third quarter of 2008 with Acer taking Sun¹s position.