AP server shipments up 15.7% in Q4 of 2011

Server shipments in Asia Pacific grew 15.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2011, while revenue increased 2.4 percent from the same quarter last year, according to research firm Gartner.

“Asia Pacific was the fastest growing region for server shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011, with China as the main growth engine, supported by the continued momentum of data centre build out,” said Gartner principal analyst Erica Gadjuli.

“Most major economies in Asia Pacific performed better than the rest of the world, which encouraged IT spending during 2011.”

During the fourth quarter, the x86 server market in Asia Pacific continued similar positive sales trends as observed in the previous quarter, despite some issues with hard-disk drive (HDD) inventory shortage because of the Thailand floods in October 2011.

Revenue from x86 servers grew 18 percent year-on-year, and shipments were up 17 percent. The x86-based server sales represented 98 percent of total shipments in Q4 of 2011 whilst revenue share increased to account for 67 percent in this quarter, compared to 58 percent in Q4 2010 and 62 percent in the previous quarter.

The strength of the segment was driven by enterprise buying preferences favoring richer configurations of rack optimized and blade servers.

Meanwhile the mainframe platform and RISC/ IA64 Unix servers saw revenues decline by 56 percent and 5 percent respectively, after positive performances in the previous three quarters of 2011. Furthermore, there was a global weakness in RISC/Itanium Unix server shipments.

Country performance in Q4

Server shipments to China were up 27 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and revenue increased 17 percent year on year. For the same quarter, server shipped to Hong Kong increased 34 percent year-on-year, but revenue fell at 6 percent rate.

On the other hand, the server market in Taiwan ended weaker than in Q4 2010, in both shipments and revenue, as they declined 14 percent and 5 percent respectively.

Singapore, as one of the mature markets in this region, had server shipments decline 6 percent during the fourth quarter and revenue was also down 7 percent year on year.

Consistent growth of x86 servers in Korea continued in this quarter and helped the overall server shipment volume to grow 16 percent but revenue declined 9 percent with the lack of contribution from other server platforms, namely mainframe, RISC, and Itanium based servers.

In Malaysia, revenue from all server categories by CPU type except mainframe class servers declined year-on-year, which also led to a slowdown of 6 percent in overall revenue in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010.

Lastly, server market performance in Australia was generally weaker across all server platforms, finishing at 10 percent lower year-on-year in shipments and 39 percent in revenue.

Vendor performance in Q4

“In this region, blade server revenue continued to grow the fastest compared to other form factors,” Gadjuli said.

Blade servers (x86 and non x86) expanded in revenue by 15 percent year on year. HP continued to lead this market segment with 45 percent of total blade revenue in Q4 2011 and 32 percent share of shipments.

However, Dell, in third place in the blade market, firmed up its share of both shipments and revenue, accounting for 11 percent and 9 percent respectively, up from 8 percent and 6 percent in Q4 2010.

Cisco accelerated its penetration of the server market in Asia Pacific by pushing its USC blade product in 2011.

IBM continued its revenue leadership, accounting for 40 percent market share despite experiencing a decline of 3 percent year-on-year due to the lack of contribution from mainframe platform during Q4 2011.

Compared with the same quarter of 2010, HP saw revenue decline 14 percent, mainly because of a slowdown in demand for its x86 servers, partly resulting from the HDD shortage issue, and Itanium based servers.

On the other hand, server revenue from Dell grew reasonably strongly, up 28 percent year-on-year, fueled by significant take up in blade servers.

Dell climbed to first position with year-on-year growth of 30 percent. Shipments to Greater China, Korea and India, particularly of blade and rack optimized servers, accounted for Dell’s success in this quarter.

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