Server sales: It’s tough out there

Summary:Gartner’s server sales figures for the first quarter show a market still in decline from its giddy heights but there are some glimmers of optimism.

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Life continues to be tough in the hardware market and Gartner's figures for the first quarter of 2014 offer little hope that it is going to get better anytime soon. However, there were some glimmers of hope for a couple of suppliers with Cisco seeing some signs of improvement.

Worldwide server revenues fell by 4.1 percent in the period January to March 2014 but server shipments grew by 1.4 percent. This suggests that in the market as a whole more servers are being sold but generally at a lower price which reflects the cut-throat competition in the market. Just look at Dell where you can now buy a decently spec’d Inspiron for less than £250.

EMEA: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 1Q14 (US Dollars)

Company

1Q14

Revenue

1Q14 Market Share (%)

1Q13

Revenue

1Q13 Market Share (%)

 

HP

1,087,308,680

35.9

1,034,411,365

35.0

 

IBM

563,849,788

18.6

617,383,854

20.9

 

Dell

469,835,750

15.5

517,483,000

17.5

 

Fujitsu

269,870,145

8.9

228,659,643

7.7

 

Oracle

161,662,628

5.3

161,562,750

5.5

 

Others

479,079,418

15.8

397,854,330

13.5

 

Total

3,031,606,409

100.0

2,957,354,943

100.0

 

A look at the figures shows that server revenues are split. IBM and Dell, two of the largest vendors, have seen a decline in revenue, while HP, the largest, Fujitsu and Oracle saw small increases.

EMEA: Server Vendor Shipments Estimates, 1Q14 (Units)

Company

1Q14

Shipments

1Q14 Market Share (%)

1Q13

Shipments

1Q13 Market Share (%)

 

HP

214,672

 

39.2

218,610

37.5

 

Dell

114,569

20.9

132,187

22.7

 

IBM

38,997

7.1

56,184

9.6

 

Fujitsu

35,490

6.5

36,463

6.2

 

Cisco

15,365

2.8

14,691

2.5

 

Others

128,807

23.5

125,308

21.5

 

Total

547,901

100.0

583,443

100.0

 

The figures for server shipments tell a slightly different story again which shipments down everywhere except at Cisco, which saw a slight increase.

"The first quarter of 2014 produced relatively weak growth on a global level with a variation in results by region," said Gartner vice-president, Jeffrey Hewitt. All the regions showed a decline in shipments or revenue with the exception of Asia/Pacific, he said in a statement.

Asia/Pacific saw a 3.3 percent increase in revenue which was small but significant and an 18 percent increase in shipments which bears out the idea that while people are spending less money they are still hungry for product.

Of the top five vendors in server shipments worldwide, only Hauwei and Inspur Electronics increased their shipments in the first quarter with growth of 61 percent and 288.7 percent respectively.

Worldwide: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 1Q14 (US Dollars)

Company

1Q14

Revenue

1Q14 Market Share (%)

1Q13

Revenue

1Q13 Market Share (%)

1Q14-1Q13 Growth (%)

HP

2,890,992,229

25.5

2,959,030,197

25.0

-2.3

IBM

2,244,631,789

19.8

3,016,060,031

25.5

-25.6

Dell

2,006,639,006

17.7

2,124,462,397

17.9

-5.5

Cisco

616,620,000

5.4

450,120,000

3.8

37.0

Fujitsu

573,761,398

5.1

583,238,840

4.9

-1.6

Others

3,023,595,517

26.6

2,702,999,615

22.8

11.9

Total

11,356,239,939

100.0

11,835,911,081

100.0

-4.1

Source: Gartner (May 2014)

As far as Europe (EMEA) was concerned sever shipments continued to decline but the good news was that revenue grew across EMEA after 10 consecutive quarters of year-on-year decline.

Server shipments totaled 547,900 units, a decrease if 6.1 percent over the same quarter in the previous year. But server revenues rose by 2.5 percent to total $3bn.

"Although shipments contracted, the fact that the market has finally shown revenue growth will be a welcome relief for vendors," said Gartner research director, Adrian O'Connell.

"The business environment in EMEA remains challenging but the severe declines that we witnessed in the non-x86 product segment have abated – at least for the first quarter of 2014."

Further Reading:

Topics: Servers, Hardware, Tech Industry

About

Colin has been a computer journalist for some 30 years having started in the business the same year that the IBM PC was launched, although the first piece he wrote was about computer audit. He was at one time editor of Computing magazine in London and prior to that held a number of editing jobs, including time spent at the late DEC Compu... Full Bio

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