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HP displaced Sun as the market leader in Unix systems this quarter, according to IDC figures released today.

The reversal of positions of the top dogs of the Unix server market between 2Q03 and 3Q03 comes because HP revenues dropped less than those Sun in a declining market.

Unix server revenues were $4.1 billion in the quarter - down 3.8 per cent, the lowest rate of decline in seven consecutive quarters, IDC says.

HP had 33.8 per cent market share, in terms of factory revenue, driven by gains in Superdome shipments, while Sun had 28.4 per cent share and IBM had 25.6 per cent share. IBM market share gained two percentage points over the last 12 months, making it the highest riser.

Sun's Unix revenue declined by a tenth year-over-year, but Sun's unit shipments grew 17.4 per cent, reflecting the company's change in focus towards smaller servers this year.

Despite the fall in revenues, Unix server unit shipments grew 4.3 per cent over the last year as increased competition is forcing vendors to reduce equipment prices in order to secure sales.

The overall server market revenue grew two per cent in Q303 with factory revenues reaching $10.8 billion, thanks largely to a strong growth in sales of low-end kit. ®

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