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Big iron sellers grow shipments, shrink revenues

Server price-lash

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Price-lash

If shipments are any measure of effort, you can't blame the server makers for trying to cut price to boost demand. HP's server shipments, thanks almost entirely to its ProLiant rack and tower and BladeSystem blade server lines, accounted to 724,024 server shipments in the quarter, or 31.2 per cent of the boxes and representing an 11.4 per cent growth rate over shipments a year ago. HP pumped up the volume like it was a normal quarter, and seems to have cut prices as if it was not.

Dell came in as the second largest server shipper, getting 500,470 boxes out the door, for a 21.6 per cent share of the shipment pie and growing 3.3 per cent (or slower than the market at large) compared to Q3 2007. IBM was the number three shipper in Q3, as it has been for many years, with 308,524 boxes flying out of its global factories, down 3.5 per cent. When it reported its Q3 financial results back in October, IBM said that its System x rack and tower sales were down 18 per cent and its BladeCenter blade server sales were off 8 percent, and this hurt IBM's shipments.

Sun was the number four shipper, and actually grew shipments, albeit at a slower rate than the market at large. Sun shipped 81,522 boxes in the quarter, according to Gartner, an increase of 2.9 per cent over Q3 2007, and giving the company a paltry 3.5 per cent of the shipment pie. (A little more than one-tenth the size of HP's shipments). Fujitsu-Siemens had 73.578 servers shipped in the quarter, down 3.8 per cent and giving it 3.2 per cent of shipments worldwide.

Combining Sun, Fujitsu, and Siemens together just to get larger revenue and shipment numbers seems like a good idea - one that neither Sun nor Fujitsu seem inclined to listen to.

Anyway, other vendors selling servers in the third quarter of 2008 accounted for 629,863 boxes, up 3.1 per cent and accounting for 27.2 per cent of the servers sold. (Maybe Sun or Fujitsu should change their names to Others?)

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