Worldwide server shipments and revenues contracted by nearly one-third in the second quarter as the value of the market dropped to its lowest level since IDC began tracking the platform in 1996.
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Total unit sales dropped by 30.4% in the three months to the end of June, while factory revenues declined 30.1% to $9.8bn.
In four consecutive quarters the server market has decelerated across all regions, said Matt Eastwood, IDC group vice-president of enterprise platforms.
"The economic recession has deepened. Fewer servers have been shipped over the past four quarters than at any time since 2005 and it is clear that the worldwide server installed base is ageing rapidly," he added.
IDC said the situation is expected to improve in the second half of 2009 as IT customers "begin to focus on the future once again, making strategic platform compute decisions for the next business cycle".
The x86 segment continued to struggle globally, declining 28.1% to $5.2bn, while shipments fell 30.1% to 1.4 million servers. The value of the blade market fell 12.1% to $1.2bn.
Non-x86 platforms, including RISC, EPIC and CISC processors, fell 32.2% to $4.7bn.
Windows server revenues were down 27.7% to $3.7bn, Linux server revenues dropped 28.9% to $1.3bn and Unix servers fell 30.9% to $3.1bn.
All the major OEMs saw revenues declines in the quarter, but IBM, buoyed by market share gains in the x86 space, maintained its top spot. Big Blue was followed by HP, Dell and Sun Microsystems.
This story originally appeared on MicroScope.