In the second quarter of 2009, worldwide server shipments dropped 28% year-on-year, while revenue fell 29,4 percentage points year on year, according to Gartner.

“The server market remains constrained on a worldwide level,” says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner. “Server sales have felt the impact of reduced budgets since the last half of 2008 and the second quarter of this year remained in the negative.
“No server segment was immune from the economic woes. x86-based servers fell 27,4% in units and 25,7% in revenue. RISC/Itanium Unix servers also were impacted in quarterly results with drops of 40,6% in units and 31,4% in vendor revenues,” Hewitt says.
The server market was negatively impacted in all geographic regions. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) fell the most significantly with a 31,9% decline in shipments and 35,8% in vendor revenue. The effects from the dollar exchange rate to local currencies had an additional negative influence. Asia/Pacific felt the least downward pressure on units with a 17,2% unit decline, and it also had the least vendor revenue impact for the period with a 15% decrease.
IBM continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue. The company posted just over $3-billion in server vendor revenue for a total share of 32,5% worldwide for the second quarter of 2009. This share was up 1% from the same period last year. While IBM retained the number one spot, it sustained a 27,1% revenue decline, with all of its server brands posting year-on-year decreases.
In server shipments, Hewlett-Packard remained the worldwide leader for the second quarter of 2009 despite a shipment decline of 26,1% for the year. All of HP’s server brands had a year-on-year decline for the period.
The least impacted server segment was x86 blade servers which fell 23,6% in units and 13,6% in vendor revenue for the second quarter.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments totalled just over 490 000 units in the second quarter of 2009, a decline of 32% from the same period last year. Server revenue totalled $3-billion in the second quarter of 2009, a decline of 36% over the same quarter last year.
"In the second quarter of 2009, the server market continued the dramatic declines of the first quarter, as economic weakness continued to negatively affect levels of expenditure,” says Errol Rasit, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The second quarter offered no respite to the dire results seen in the first quarter, and showed slightly weaker year-on-year declines, as server spending in all segments remained constrained. The priority for server vendors for the second half of 2009 is to adjust their plans in line with modest improvements in server spending as the economy starts to recover.”
In the x86 market, total volumes in EMEA declined 31% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Of the top five vendors, HP in the number one spot exhibited a decline of 31%. The number two and number three vendors, IBM and Dell showed the largest declines of the top five at 35%.
RISC and Itanium Unix revenues declined 38% in the second quarter of 2009. Of the top five vendors in this segment, Sun regained thenumber one position despite a decline of 40%. IBM in the number two position was the least impacted vendor in this segment, but still exhibited a decline of 22%. HP, at number three, posted a 45% decline, while Bull, which had performed relatively well in the first quarter, succumbed to the general market forces in the second quarter and declined 46%. Fujitsu in the number five position exhibited the largest decline of 73% due to weakness in demand in key countries such as Germany and a greater focus on its x86 product portfolio.
In server shipments, HP maintained its number one  position, marginally increasing its share by 0,1% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Even though it saw a decline of 31 7%, HP outpaced its nearest rivals Dell and IBM as a result of its product breadth, market coverage and strong sales execution.
“As economic conditions start to stabilise, the outlook for the third quarter of 2009 is for slightly improved results compared with those seen in the first half of 2009. Even with this relative improvement, we expect server spending behaviour to remain cautious through the second half of 2009, with the market not returning to growth until 2010,” says  Rasit.