Global server shipments fall by 0.7pc in first quarter

28 May 2013

Worldwide server shipments fell 0.7pc in the first quarter compared with last year and revenues for the sector fell by 0.5pc, according to Gartner.

“The first quarter of 2013 was certainly not a strong period for the server market on a global level,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner.

“The only regions to post increases were Asia/Pacific and the United States, with Asia/Pacific showing the strongest growth, with shipment and revenue increases of 7pc and 1.7pc, respectively. While these two regions grew in both shipments and revenue, it was not enough to offset the declines of the other geographies – all of which declined in server shipments and revenue for the quarter.” 

“The x86 server shipment growth was flat in the quarter, while revenue increased 1.8pc. RISC/Itanium Unix servers declined globally for the period, down 38.8pc in shipments and down 35.8pc in vendor revenue compared to the same quarter last year. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, exhibited an increase of 3.6pc in worldwide revenue.” 

Global server market share

server market Q1, gartner

IBM had the lead in the worldwide server market based on revenue. The company totalled just over US$3bn in server vendor revenue worldwide, with a total share of 25.5pc in the first quarter of 2013.

This share was down 2.5 percentage points from the same period in 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, system x accounted for 29.3pc of IBM’s total server revenue. 

All of the top 5 vendors suffered revenue declines in the first quarter of 2013, except for Dell, which grew 14.4pc. 

In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader in the first quarter of 2013 in spite of a year-on-year shipment decline of 15.2pc. Dell and Cisco were the only vendors in the top 5 to have positive shipment growth, with increases of 2.6pc and 33pc. 

In terms of server form factors, blade servers fell 5.9pc in shipments and 5pc in revenue for the quarter. The rack-optimised form factor dropped 5.2pc in shipments and 2pc in revenue in the first quarter of 2013. 

In EMEA, server shipments surpassed 580,000 units in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 6.8pc from the same period last year. Server revenue totalled US$2.96bn, a decline of 9.6pc from the first quarter last year. 

“Following a challenging 2012, 2013 started in very much the same way,” said Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner.

“Budgets are restricted and server infrastructure spending is clearly not the highest priority for many organisations,” O’Connell said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years