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Server Sales Stop Slip Sliding Away – Except at Sun

Third-quarter sales weren’t as bad as second-quarter sales

Economics for Investors on Ulitzer

Gartner thinks the server business has stopped sliding into the abyss.

Third-quarter sales weren't as bad as second-quarter sales - well, for most everybody except Sun that is. The numbers give Oracle, Sun's prospective buyer, another data point it can try to rub the European Commission's nose in to express its outrage that the acquisition has been held up over MySQL.

Sun sales were down 32% year-over-year to $784.6 million in Q3 while IBM was only down - only being a relative term - 12.3% to $3.38 billion, HP down 15.1% to $3.22 billion and Dell down a mere 5.1% to $1.42 billion. Everybody was up sequentially except Sun.

IBM's market share by revenue increased to 31.7% (up 1.1%), HP's to 30.2% (up 0.1%) and Dell 13.4% (up 1.5%).

HP sold more units than anybody else - taking a 32.1% share largely on the back of its x86 ProLiant servers - but IBM, as usual, earned more money.

HP moved 615,694 boxes, down 15%, Dell did 437,447, down 12.6%, and IBM did 246,493, off 20.1%. Sun was off a nasty 38.1% to 50,435 boxes.

The total server business year-over-year dropped 15.5% to $10.7 billion in the quarter. Some 1.2 million fewer units went out the door, a decline of 17.1% to 1.92 million units. Compared to Q2, however, units were up 13.8% and revenues tickled 10.2%.

Gartner says it means the "market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization."

In Q2 revenues fell 29.4% to $9.69 billion and units dropped 28% to 1.69 million.

Overall x86 shipments were down 16.2% to 1.86 million, with revenues off 11.4% to $6.32 billion. The top five vendors saw a 9.7% increase in ASPs. HP did 604,491, Dell 437,447 and IBM 224,573. IBM was up 1% to $1.14 billion against an easy compare.

In the Unix-running RISC and Itanium category Sun was off a horrid 49.7% to 23,986 units worth an estimated $628.3 million. IBM moves 18,325 machines, off 25.3%, and worth $1.06 billion, down 11.5%. HP did 9,723 machines, off 12.5%, and worth $762.8 million, down 17.4%.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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