Gartner has estimated in the third quarter of 2013, worldwide server shipments grew 1.9 percent year-on-year, while revenue declined 2.1 percent from the third quarter of 2012.
“The worldwide server market remains in a relatively weak performance mode as we move through the second half of the year,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. “There were only three regions that exhibited positive vendor revenue growth. They were Canada at 6.5 percent, the Middle East and Africa at 12.1 percent and the United States with 0.9 percent growth. In shipments, the Middle East and Africa had the greatest increase at 13 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.”
“x86 servers maintained low levels of growth at 2.1 percent in units year-on-year and 4.4 percent in revenue. RISC/Itanium Unix servers continued to decline at 4.5 percent and 31 percent in vendor revenue compared to the same quarter last year. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed an increase of 7.8 percent,” Mr. Hewitt said.
Vendor analysis by Gartner: HP had the lead in the worldwide server market based on revenue (see Table 1). The company posted just over $3.4 billion in server vendor revenue for a total share of 27.6 percent worldwide for the third quarter of 2013. This was up 2.2 percent year-on-year. HP and Cisco were the only vendors in the top five to have revenue increases in the third quarter of 2013.
Gartner said "In terms of server form factors, blade servers fell 1.5 percent in shipments, but grew 3 percent in revenue in the quarter. The rack-optimized form factor climbed 2.6 percent in shipments and, but fell 1.8 percent in revenue for the third quarter of 2013."
On the same subject another market researcher IDC reported the factory revenue in the worldwide server market decreased -3.7% year over year to $12.1 billion in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13). This was the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue decline, as server market demand remained soft ahead of a forthcoming refresh cycle, which is expected to emerge in early 2014. After increasing modestly in 2Q13, server unit shipments were flat year over year in 3Q13 with 2.3 million units shipped worldwide, as per IDC.
IDC finds on a year-over-year basis, volume systems experienced 3.5% revenue growth. At the same time, demand for midrange and high-end systems experienced year-over-year revenue declines of -17.8% and -22.5% respectively in 3Q13. The midrange and high-end segments were impacted by difficult year-over-year compares and continued weakness in Unix demand while volume demand was helped by solid x86 server demand, according to IDC.
"Worldwide server revenue declined in all major geographic regions including Americas, EMEA, and Asia/Pacific in the third quarter. The market was impacted by a steady transition from 2nd Platform to 3rd Platform workload demand coupled with particularly weak sales of Unix servers, which served to further dampen the market," said Matt Eastwood, Group Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Platforms at IDC. "2nd Platform workloads continue to represent a healthy consolidation opportunity across the market, driving solid demand for integrated systems. At the same time, 3rd Platform applications are shifting more and more server demand into cloud service provider datacenters, which is opening up new market opportunity for both ODMs and Chinese OEMs."
IDC vendor analysis: HP regained the number 1 position in the worldwide server market with 28.1% factory revenue share in 3Q13. HP experienced a 1.5% year-over-year increase in factory revenue and gained 1.5 points of revenue share on improved demand for x86-based ProLiant servers in the quarter. IBM held the number 2 position in the market with 23.4% factory revenue share following a -19.4% year-over-year decline in factory revenue resulting in a loss of 4.5 points of factory revenue share in the quarter on soft demand for System x and Power Systems. Dell maintained third place with 16.2% factory revenue market share in 3Q13. Dell's factory revenue decreased -6.0% compared to 3Q12 losing 0.4 points of factory revenue share. Cisco and Oracle ended the quarter in a statistical tie for the number 4 market position with 5.0% and 4.1% factory revenue share respectively.