IBM, HP still server top-dogs, amid sales dip on last year

IBM and HP remain all-but joint partners on Gartner's third-quarter estimates for 2011, after the two giants took a collective 60 percent of the market.

IBM and HP remain the market leaders in the server business sector, according to latest quarterly figures by analyst Gartner.

The market grew by a touch more than 5 percent to $12.3 billion in revenues, with 2.2 million servers sold.

While worldwide shipments in the third-quarter grew by 7 percent year-on-year, revenue only increased by just over 5 percent year-on-year.

But while Dell grew 6.3 percent from 2010's third-quarter, Oracle did not grow at all, remaining with a 4.7 percent marketshare, losing an estimated $25 million in revenue.

That said, the third-quarter was strong and the markets can enjoy profits back to nearly how they were before the global financial crisis hit in 2008.

While the markets appear healthy in the U.S. and Canada, predictions about Europe's markets seemed hedgy at best; a wise decision considering the current turmoil in the European markets, where even the financiers do not know whether the single-market currency, the Euro, will be around this time next year.

IBM attained just shy of 30 percent worldwide server marketshare in the third-quarter, who marginally took the crown from HP with 29.3 percent of the marketshare. But IBM and HP were side-by-side in revenues collected, both accounting for $3.8 billion.

Looking at the figures by-unit, HP sold 694,000 servers, averaging out at a price of $5,500 each, with IBM selling nearly a third of that at 288,000, with an average market price of $13,000.

HP said its sales of industry standard servers -- those running regular Intel chips -- were down by around 4 percent, while its business critical servers -- running Intel's Itanium chips -- were down by nearly a quarter. A significant drop, not helped by the ongoing ding with Oracle, where Oracle had said it would cease support of the Itanium chip because Intel did not plan to keep the platform alive 'over the long run'.

European antitrust regulators are yet to respond to HP's calls to investigate Oracle, as the spat reaches the next level.

Dell and Oracle grabbed a 15 percent and 6 percent marketshare respectively in the last quarter.