Server Sales Jumped in 02

Number of servers sold worldwide increased 4.2 percent from the previous year, but revenue stayed fairly even.

The number of servers sold worldwide in 2002 jumped 4.2 percent from the previous year, but revenue stayed fairly even, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by Gartner Dataquest Inc.

In addition, Hewlett-Packard Co.—during its merger with Compaq Computer Corp.—sold the most units both in the United States and globally, though Dell Computer Corp. continued its aggressive push in the server space.

According to Gartner Dataquests numbers, more than 4.6 million servers were sold in 2002, a rise over the more than 4.4 million sold in 2001. Of those 4.6 million, almost 1.4 million—or 30.1 percent—were sold by HP, of Palo Alto, Calif. More than 851,000—or 18.5 percent—were sold by Round Rock, Texas-based Dell and IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., sold 657,895, or 14.3 percent.

In the United States, sales totaled more than 1.9 million, a 13.8 percent jump over the 1.7 million sold in 2001, according to Gartner Dataquest, in San Jose, Calif. More than 506,000—or 26 percent—were sold by HP, but Dell sold 487,984, or 25 percent. IBM sold 225,315, or 11.6 percent, and Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., sold 143,753, or 7.4 percent.

"Most of HPs growth is fueled by (Intel architecture) servers, which accounts for about 95 percent of HPs overall shipments," Gartner Dataquest analyst Jeffrey Hewitt said in a prepared statement. "The majority of Dells sales are occurring below the $25,000 segment. This market has seen an increase in shipments because of the poor economic situation."

Shahin Nafthci, an analyst with Gartner Dataquest, said that HPs surge had a lot to do with the smooth transition in its acquisition of Compaq. The company has been able to retain many of the customers that had been waiting to see how the merger played out, she said. This was particularly helpful in the high-volume Intel architecture space, where many NetServer users made the move over to the ProLiant line.

"Customers are gaining confidence in HP," Nafthci said.

While the number of U.S. shipments are growing, revenue is not keeping pace, suggesting that most of the increase is occurring among the lowest-cost servers, the research firm said.

The analyst firm expects to release final U.S. numbers in two weeks, and final global numbers two weeks after that, Naftchi said.