HP is outpacing its rivals in the European server market, according to the latest market figures from Gartner.
Based on server shipments for the second quarter of this year, HP was the top vendor with shipments reaching 229,862 units compared to 193,849 a year ago, a rise of 15.5 percent.
IBM recorded 101,551 unit sales, a 5 percent jump, and Dell recorded 100,400, a jump of 7.5 percent.
"This quarter has been a very interesting one with some head-to-head battles taking place at both ends of the market," said Adrian O'Connell, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Since last quarter, IBM took the second position from Dell, with just over 1,000 units separating the two vendors. Sun also reduced its shipments gap with Fujitsu Siemens getting closer to the fourth position."
Overall, the server market in Europe looks looked sluggish in comparison with the rest of the world, with server shipments increasing 9 percent in the second quarter of 2006 and revenue dropping by just 0.1 percent in contrast to a worldwide increase of just 2.5 percent.
Revenue in Europe was $3.9bn for the quarter and server shipments reached some 585,000.
On the revenue side, HP declined by the market average of 0.1 percent, year on year, but was still the market leader with $1.262bn, or 32.3 percent of the market, followed by IBM, Sun, Dell, and Fujitsu Siemens. Dell saw the biggest jump in revenue, with an 11 percent rise, while Sun rose by 8.5 percent.
"The two server categories that showed the strongest shipment growth were x86 and blade servers, which grew 10.4 percent and 61.4 percent respectively," said O'Connell. "RISC-Itanium servers had a difficult quarter with shipments decreasing 3.1 percent and revenue dropping 5.1 percent."
Intel has claimed that the recent launch of the dual-core Montecito Itanium will help the chip perform better in the marketplace.
Worldwide, the server picture was slightly different. Dell US market share dropped 6.5 percent for server revenue and 3.4 percent for shipments from the second quarter 2005. In contrast, Sun increased its revenue share by 18.8 percent and shipments by 31.4 percent.
The US server market grew by 5.5 percent in revenue and 15.9 percent in shipments. IBM saw its revenue share drop by 2.9 percent and shipments increase by 15.2 percent while HP's revenue share dropped 8 percent and shipments increased 5.7 percent.
Worldwide, server revenue was up by 17.5 percent and shipments by 23.8 percent.