Gartner

Newsroom

STAMFORD, Conn., March 3, 2009 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide Server Shipments and Revenue Experience Double-Digit Declines in Fourth Quarter of 2008

Worldwide server shipments in the fourth quarter of 2008 declined 11.7 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2007, while server revenue decreased 15.1 percent, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The weakening economic environment had a deep impact on server market revenues in the fourth quarter as companies put a hold on spending across most market segments,” said Heeral Kota, a senior research analyst at Gartner. “Almost all segments exhibited similar behavior as users sought to reduce costs and spending, deferring projects where possible. Blade servers were one of the few segments to achieve any growth at all in this challenging environment. Unix servers on the other hand fell for the fourth quarter at 10.5 percent in shipments and 13.7 percent in revenue for the year.”

From a geographic perspective, all regions apart from Japan saw a fall in revenue.  While Japan had a 4.7 percent revenue increase, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) suffered the worst decline with revenues falling by 20.6 percent. Even the emerging regions of Latin America and Asia Pac suffered with declines of 12.5 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively. North America server revenue declined 14.6 percent. In addition to weak demand, strong exchange rate fluctuations also had a sizeable impact on server market performance, particularly in the Eurozone

The top five vendors based on worldwide server revenue all experienced a decline in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008. IBM continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue (see Table 1). The company ended the year with just over $4 billion in revenue, with its worldwide market share totaling 33.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.  While IBM retained the No. 1 spot, it sustained a 17.4 percent revenue decline, with most parts of the business declining. The only area of IBM’s business to grow year-on-year was system Z, which continues to benefit from the efforts IBM has made to reinvigorate this platform.

Table 1
Worldwide: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q08 (U.S. Dollars)

Company

4Q08

Revenue

4Q08 Market Share (%)

4Q07

Revenue

4Q07 Market Share (%)

4Q07-4Q08 Growth (%)

IBM

4,384,617,846

33.4

5,311,133,999

34.4

-17.4

Hewlett-Packard

3,935,135,353

30.0

4,372,846,634

28.3

-10.0

Dell Inc.

1,403,027,996

10.7

1,580,037,019

10.2

-11.2

Sun Microsystems

1,256,435,607

9.6

1,475,687,540

9.6

-14.9

Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens

560,392,872

4.3

615,508,682

4.0

-9.0

Other Vendors

1,570,092,706

12.0

2,085,434,274

13.5

-24.7

Total

13,109,702,380

100.0

15,440,648,148

100.0

-15.1

Source: Gartner (March 2009)

In server shipments, Hewlett-Packard remained the worldwide leader for the fourth quarter of 2008 (see Table 2) in spite of a shipment decline of 1.6 percent for the year. The ProLiant brand showed a slight decline in shipments while all of its other brands fell in the fourth quarter 2008 compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.

Of the top 10 vendors in server shipments worldwide, only 3 did not have shipment declines for the year—NEC, Lenovo and Dawning.

The weak economic environment also impacted x86 server demand as x86 server shipments fell by 11.4 percent and revenue fell by 18.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008. The relatively short purchasing cycle for these products mean this segment can see demand fall off particularly quickly.

Table 2
Worldwide: Server Vendor Shipment Estimates, 4Q08 (Units)

Company

4Q08

Shipment

4Q08 Market Share (%)

4Q07

Shipment

4Q07 Market Share (%)

4Q07-4Q08 Growth (%)

Hewlett-Packard

690,666

32.3

702,100

29.0

-1.6

Dell Inc.

464,072

21.7

499,687

20.6

-7.1

IBM

289,635

13.5

372,701

15.4

-22.3

Sun Microsystems

81,229

3.8

84,538

3.5

-3.9

Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens

65,088

3.0

75,882

3.1

-14.2

Other Vendors

548,910

25.7

686,837

28.4

-20.1

Total

2,139,600

100.0

2,421,745

100.0

-11.7

Source: Gartner (March 2009)

Full Year 2008 Server Market Results
For the full year of 2008, there was a dramatic swing from fairly strong results in the first half of 2008 to a severe decline in both shipments and revenue in the second half as the intensity of the economic downturn began to impact demand. Consequently worldwide server shipments increased 2.6 percent from 2007, while worldwide server revenue declined 4.1 percent in 2008.

Blade servers were still able to grow for the year with a revenue increase of 30.6 percent and a shipment increase of 30 percent for the year. HP was the 2008 leader, accounting for 47.3 percent of blade shipments, while IBM was in second place at 26.2 percent. These two vendors continued to dominate this form factor.

“The outlook for 2009 is a very challenging one, with the pattern of the fourth quarter more indicative for the level of demand in 2009 than that seen in 2008 as a whole,” Kota said. “The continued weak economic environment will cause users to be extremely cautious with levels of expenditure which will make for a particularly challenging environment for vendors. The server market already has high levels of vendor consolidation but the conditions expected during 2009 will increase the threat of further consolidation.”

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 systems and distribution channels.

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner in more than 14,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 6,100 associates, including more than 1,460 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.

Gartner Insight
Gartner Webinars