Latest server slump masks signs of ‘stabilisation’
Server sales still down, but sequential growth raises hopes that market is improving
The beleaguered global sever market suffered yet another sharp decline in both volume and revenue during the third quarter, but analysts suggest the set-back disguises signs of stabilisation that have taken place over recent weeks.
Worldwide server shipments plummeted 17% year-on-year to 1.9 million units during Q3, while revenues crashed 15% to US$10.7 billion over the same period, according to data just released by Gartner.
Jeffrey Hewitt, research VP at Gartner, insists it is important to put the yearly declines into perspective.
"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 to the second quarter of this year," he said. "That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilisation as we move towards the end of 2009."
In dollar terms, IBM continued to lead the pack, amassing 32% market share to keep it slightly ahead of HP in Q3.
All the major vendors, including IBM, saw year-on-year revenues slide during the quarter, with Sun Microsystems taking the most painful hit as sales dropped 32% on the corresponding period 12 months before.
HP occupied number one spot for total shipments, followed by Dell and IBM. Not a single one of the five largest server vendors posted year-on-year unit growth during the third quarter, but all managed to improve their figures against the previous quarter, reinforcing Gartner's view that the market is beginning to stabilise.