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IBM gains market share in weak market

IBM won server market share in 2001 even though hardware sales were slow for all major vendors, according to a recent study from Gartner.

IBM and Dell were the only two companies able to gain ground in worldwide server sales among the top five server vendors. Including both Unix and Intel servers, IBM upped its share of server revenue from 25% to 29% year-on-year, according to Gartner. Dell also made a slight jump to take 6.4% of overall server revenue, up from 6.3% the year before.

Sun Microsystems, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard all lost ground in 2001, as a slow global economy punished hardware vendors. Sun slid two percentage points to grab 15.4% of the market, Compaq dropped to 13.9% from 14.8% and HP hit 12.8% of the market down from 12.9%, Gartner said.

IBM claims a resurgent mainframe server business helped bolster sales in an otherwise depressed market. The company has launched this year a new series of lower cost mainframe computers as a response to what it sees as growing demand for this type of server. On the whole, server makers are pushing hardware consolidation as a goal during this slump.

Total server sales were just $47bn (£33bn) in 2001 compared to $55.6bn a year earlier, Gartner said.

IBM also made the strongest move in the lucrative Unix server segment. Big Blue saw its revenue share rise to 20.3% from 18% a year before. Sun still dominates the Unix market with a 35.2% share, but a drop from 38.3% in 2000. HP, Compaq and Dell all held relatively flat in Unix sales.

The lower priced and lower end Intel market was also slow. IBM and Dell made small market share gains, grabbing 13.9% and 17.6% of the market respectively.

The market leader in Intel-based servers was Compaq, which shed 1.6 percentage points of share to end the year with 26.3% of the market.

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