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Gartner Says 2009 Worldwide Server Market Decline Was Softened by Improved Fourth Quarter Performance



In the fourth quarter of 2009, worldwide server shipments grew 4.5 percent year over year, while revenue fell 3.2 percent, according to Gartner, Inc. 

“The recovery that began in the third quarter of 2009 based on x86 servers extended into the fourth quarter,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice resident at Gartner. “However, it is important to put this into context. The fourth quarter of 2008 was quite weak, so the fourth quarter of 2009 did not have to produce huge x86 server numbers to result in an increase. At the same time, other segments like RISC/Itanium Unix and mainframes remained constrained and that exerted downward pressure on overall vendor revenue results.”

"Blade servers pushed ahead with growth of 11.1 percent in shipments and 22.1 percent in vendor revenue for the period. RISC/Itanium Unix servers, on the other hand, dropped 30.5 percent in shipments and fell 20 percent in revenue in the fourth quarter," Mr. Hewitt said.

Regions that grew in shipments were Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and the U.S., at 19.6, 13.4, and 9.0 percent, respectively. Canada, Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America and Western Europe had shipment declines of 9.4, 13.3, 1.7, 6.8, and 4.0 percent, respectively. Regions that grew in vendor revenue were Asia/Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa at 9.1, 22.1, and 9.4 percent, respectively. Canada, Eastern Europe, Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe had sales declines of 1.7, 26.2, 6.7, 5.1, and 9.2 percent, respectively.

IBM continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue (see Table 1). In the fourth quarter of 2009, IBM's server revenue was about $4.1 billion, reflecting a 5.9 percent year-over-year decline. IBM's market share was 32.7 percent, a 1 percentage point decline. System x grew, while System p and System z posted declines for the quarter.

Of the top five global vendors, HP, Dell and Fujitsu grew in revenue for the quarter while IBM and Sun posted declines. 

Table 1
Worldwide: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q09 (U.S. Dollars)

Company

4Q09

Revenue

4Q09 Market Share (%)

4Q08

Revenue

4Q08 Market Share (%)

4Q08-4Q09 Growth (%)

IBM

4,125,145,125

32.7

4,384,617,846

33.7

-5.9

HP

3,951,339,524

31.3

3,935,135,353

30.2

0.4

Dell

1,519,699,047

12.1

1,403,027,996

10.8

8.3

Sun Microsystems

960,830,493

7.6

1,256,435,607

9.7

-23.5

Fujitsu

563,384,642

4.5

560,392,872

4.3

0.5

Other Vendors

1,486,168,259

11.8

1,477,943,169

11.4

0.6

Total

12,606,567,089

100.0

13,017,552,843

100.0

-3.2

Source: Gartner (February 2010)

In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader for the fourth quarter of 2009 with a year over year shipment increase of 3.8 percent (see Table 2). The ProLiant brand showed growth in shipments while all of its other brands fell in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

Of the top 10 vendors in server shipments worldwide, all but NEC and Sun had shipment increases for the period.

The results for the quarter were centered around demand for x86 servers which increased in shipments by 6.3 percent and in revenue by 14.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Table 2
Worldwide: Server Vendor Shipments Estimates, 4Q09 (Units)

Company

4Q09

Shipments

4Q09 Market Share (%)

4Q08

Shipments

4Q08 Market Share (%)

4Q08-4Q09 Growth (%)

HP

717,212

32.1

690,666

32.3

3.8

Dell

484,702

21.7

464,072

21.7

4.4

IBM

320,007

14.3

289,635

13.5

10.5

Sun Microsystems

61,866

2.8

81,229

3.8

-23.8

Fujitsu

67,391

3.0

65,088

3.0

3.5

Other Vendors

584,007

26.1

548,910

25.7

6.4

Total

2,235,185

100.0

2,139,601

100.0

4.5

Source: Gartner (February 2010)

Full-Year 2009 Server Market Results
2009 was highly challenging for the worldwide server space. Worldwide server shipments declined 16.6 percent in 2009 compared with 2008, while 2009 server revenue declined 18.3 percent versus 2008.  

Blade servers posted a revenue increase of 1.3 percent and a shipment decrease of 11.4 percent for the year. HP was the 2009 leader with blades at 46.8 percent shipment share; IBM was in second place at 28.2 percent. These two vendors continued to dominate this form factor.

The outlook for 2010 suggests a return to shipment growth in the middle or high single digits and revenue growth at a slightly lower level. These increases are being buffered by the use of x86 server virtualization to consolidate physical machines as they are replaced.

Additional information is available to subscribers of Gartner Dataquest’s Servers Quarterly Statistics Worldwide program. This program provides worldwide market size and share data by vendor revenue and unit shipments. Segments include: region, vendor, vendor brand, sub brand, CPU type, CPU group, Max CPU, platform, price band, operating system and distribution channels.

 

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