IDC: Server sales tank globally; IBM still leader of the pack

IDC on Wednesday said that the worldwide server revenue fell 14 percent to $13.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

IDC on Wednesday said that the worldwide server revenue fell 14 percent to $13.5 billion in the fourth quarter. IBM held on to the top market share position. 

According to IDC's tally (statement), worldwide server unit shipments fell 12 percent from a year ago. The fourth quarter represented the second consecutive quarterly decline. For 2008, global server revenue fell 3.3 percent to $53.3 billion as units grew 2 percent. 

Add it up and IDC says it's the first time the server market has topped 8 million units. The rub: Average selling prices were under pressure so revenue fell. 

By the numbers:

  • Volume systems revenue fell 16.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.
  • Midrange enterprise server demand fell 14.5 percent with high-end enterprise server sales falling 7.5 percent. 
  • Unix server revenue fell 6.2 percent from a year ago to $4.9 billion. That's good for 36.2 percent of the market. 
  • Windows server revenue fell 17.8 percent to $4.8 billion. Windows server revenue was 35.3 percent of the market. 
  • Linux server revenue fell 7 percent to $1.8 billion. Linux servers represent 13.6 percent of the market. 
  • Blade servers were the only category that had positive growth with gains of 16.1 percent to $1.4 billion. 

And here's a look at the standings in the fourth quarter and globally: