Worldwide server shipments for the third quarter of 2009 dropped 17,1% over the same quarter last year, while worldwide server revenue for the same period declined 15,5% according to Gartner. Worldwide server revenues totalled $10,7-billion for the quarter, as worldwide servers shipments reached 1,2-million units.

"It is important to put the yearly declines into perspective,” says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner. “Looking at the third quarter results from the sequential perspective, they showed an increase of 13,8% in shipments and 10,2% in revenues when compared with the second quarter of this year. That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilisation as we move towards the end of 2009.”
IBM held the revenue lead in the worldwide server market for the quarter, with a 31,7% market share. Hp was in second place, with 30,2% market share, followed by Dell at 13,4% and Sun Microsystems at 13,4%.
Although four of the top five vendors posted double-digit declines in revenue year over year, all of the top-tier vendors experienced sequential revenue growth, except for Sun Microsystems.
In terms of shipments, Hewlett-Packard retained its worldwide server shipment lead, as its market share reached 32,1% in the third quarter of 2009, driven primarily by the ProLiant brands. Dell maintained the number two ranking as its share totalled 22,8%. IBM came in third for shipments, with 12,8% market share, followed by Fujitsu at 3,5% and Sun Microsystems at 2,6%.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments totalled more than 526 000 units in the third quarter of 2009, a decline of 22,9% from the same period last year. Server revenue totalled $3-billion in the third quarter of 2009, a decline of 22,8% from the same quarter last year.
“The market saw sequential shipment growth of 7 per cent compared with the previous quarter, the largest second-to-third-quarter growth since 1998,” says Errol Rasit, senior research analyst at Gartner. "Although the market was still constrained as virtualisation remained a top priority to increase efficiency and reduce server spend, the server market showed a double-digit year-on-year decline in the third quarter of 2009.”
In the x86 market, total volumes in EMEA declined 22% compared with the third quarter of 2008. Of the top five vendors, HP maintained its top position, exhibiting a decline of 19%. Dell and IBM in the number two and number three positions respectively showed 23% and 31% declines. Fujitsu in the number four spot saw a slightly smaller decline of 16%, while Sun Microsystems moved up to the number five position, exhibiting a 9% decline.
RISC and Itanium Unix revenues declined 35% in the third quarter of 2009.
“As 2009 draws to a close, the outlook for the server market in EMEA for the fourth quarter is for slightly improved results sequentially, increasing the chance of a return to growth in 2010,” says Rasit.