In the fourth quarter of 2009, Middle East server shipments and revenue grew 13.4 per cent and 9.4 per cent year-on-year as shipments surpassed 676,000 units and revenue totalled $3.9 billion (Dh14.32bn). Shipments declined four per cent from the same period last year and server revenue also fell 9.8 per cent from the same quarter last year, stated IT research and advisory firm Gartner.
"The Emea (Europe, Middle East and Africa) server shipment market exhibited single-digit decline in the fourth quarter of 2009, which is an improvement from the double-digit decline registered in the third quarter of 2009," said Errol Rasit, Senior Analyst at Gartner.
"It also exhibited sequential growth from the third quarter of 2009. These recent market results indicate that levels of demand are starting to recover steadily, however customers remain relatively cautious."
In the x86 server market, total volumes in Emea declined 2.6 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenues of Risc and Itanium Unix declined 22 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Sun led the segment in the fourth quarter despite a decline of 28 per cent and a loss of two per cent revenue share year-on-year. Hewlett-Packard (HP) ranked number two, exhibited a revenue decline of 31 per cent year-on-year, while IBM in the third position saw its revenue decline nine per cent.
For these three vendors, the slower recovery of RISC IPF Unix compared to x86 in Emea is similar to global trends. Major platform refreshes will be released by IBM and HP in 2010, which will ultimately delay purchases among some customers in anticipation of the new systems.
The acquisition of Sun by Oracle which was not complete in the fourth quarter of 2009 made some customers hold back investment in anticipation of news following the completion of the acquisition. Bull held the fourth position and its revenue grew by 13 per cent as a result of strong investment in France. Fujitsu, which ranked fifth in this segment, declined revenue by 45 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 as a result of increased focus on x86 sales.
In 2009, the second half outpaced the first half in both shipment andrevenue terms as the server market began to recover. HP maintained its first position in shipment terms, improving share by 1.3 per cent from 2008. Although Dell and IBM lost market share by less than one per cent each, they maintained their respective second and third positions.
In revenue terms, HP remained the market leader improving share along with second-placed IBM by 0.3 per cent. Sun, in the third position lost one per cent share declining 33 per cent in 2009.
In the first quarter of 2010, Gartner foresees a continued improvement in server market demand, primarily driven by the x86 segment. "Based on improvements in the x86 market it is likely the Emea server market will return to volume growth in the first half of 2010, although revenue will take slightly longer to recover. This is a marked improvement from the 22 per cent decline seen in the third quarter of 2009. However, the fourth quarter's growth is compared to a weaker 2008 result," said Rasit.
Regions that grew in shipments were Asia/Pacific; the Middle East and Africa; and the US at 19.6 per cent, 13.4 per cent and 9.0 per cent, respectively. Canada, Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America and Western Europe had shipment declines of 9.4 per cent, 13.3 per cent, 1.7 per cent, 6.8 per cent and four per cent respectively.
Regions that grew in vendor revenue were Asia/Pacific; Latin America; and the Middle East and Africa at 9.1 per cent, 22.1 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively. Canada, Eastern Europe, Japan, the US and Western Europe had sales declines of 1.7 per cent, 26.2 per cent, 6.7 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively. Globally, server shipments grew 4.5 per cent year-on-year and revenue fell 3.2 per cent, according to Gartner.
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