Compaq regains server sales crown

Compaq has regained its position as the number one worldwide supplier of industry-standard servers in the first quarter of this...

Compaq has regained its position as the number one worldwide supplier of industry-standard servers in the first quarter of this year, according to industry research firm Dataquest.

In the European market, Compaq gained 2.2% market share, well ahead of Dell, which added 1.3%, while Hewlett-Packard and IBM both lost share in the region. The company performed best in Western Europe, where it shipped nearly 19,000 more servers than Dell and IBM combined in the first quarter, representing more than one-third of all servers sold in Western Europe during that period.

Figures for worldwide sales in the first quarter revealed that Compaq has been delivering more than a quarter of the world's requirement for industry-standard servers, shipping around 60,000 units more than its nearest rival, Dell, and more than twice as many as IBM.

Compaq is not having things all its way in the US, with Dell leading the market in the first quarter with 38.3% market share, representing 94,700 shipped servers. Compaq is second with a 32.3% share, shipping 79,900 servers during the quarter. IBM trails in third, with a 12.5% share (31,000 servers shipped), with HP a distant fourth with 7.9% of the market (19,600 servers shipped).

Mary McDowell, senior vice-president and general manager of the Compaq industry standard server group, claimed that the primary reason for the company lagging behind Dell in the States was the measures it is undertaking to reduce channel inventories, reduce structural costs and streamline supply chain operations.

"While we continue to lead in the industry-standard server market worldwide, we are taking some necessary short-term pain for second-half gain in the US.

"The business model improvements we expect to deliver over the next term, plus new aggressive moves in the areas of pricing and delivery, will make us an even more formidable competitor in the second half of the year and moving forward, regardless of economic conditions."

Meanwhile, PC shipments in Europe have undergone something of a recovery in the first quarter of this year. Business sales returned to stronger growth, helping to offset the slump in consumer sales. The French market displayed the strongest sign of a recovery in Europe. In the UK, slow retail sales helped account for a low overall growth of just 6.4%.

Stuart Finlayson

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