Gartner Revises Server Share Numbers

Gartner revises its first-quarter numbers and finds that IBM actually beat out Hewlett-Packard in server revenue.

Gartner has handed the server revenue crown back to IBM.

On July 3, Gartner issued a statement that revised its server revenue numbers for the first quarter of 2008. The findings now place IBM in the No. 1 spot and Hewlett-Packard has been pushed down to second place, although HP shipped more units than any other system vendor.

For the quarter, IBM's worldwide server revenue remained $3.9 billion, but Gartner revised its numbers and reduced HP's estimated revenue sales from $4 billion to $3.8 billion. The numbers for the other top server vendors-Dell, Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu/Fujitsu-Siemens-remained the same.

Gartner's server shipment number remained the same. HP shipped more than 680,000 servers during the quarter, while IBM shipped about 302,000 systems. The numbers for the other vendors also remained the same.

In a statement, Gartner offered a vague explanation for why it changed the numbers in favor of IBM. The research firm also indicted that overall revenue only increased 2.5 percent instead of the 4.3 percent it originally calculated. Now, Gartner estimates server revenue for the first quarter topped $13.3 billion worldwide instead of $13.6 billion.

"We commented in the previous release that HP and IBM continue to vie for market leadership in the worldwide server market based on revenue," according to a Gartner statement. "This is still the case but the updated data shows that IBM maintained the No. 1 vendor position in worldwide server revenue in the first quarter of 2008."

The latest release will likely add to the rivalry between HP and IBM, as both companies look to dominate the server market. It also shows the difficulty of trying to calculate how much revenue each company actually receives from the sale of a single server and what sort of value the vendors add to each unit as it leaves the factory floor.