Shipments off workstations were also up, but results for Unix servers with RISC (reduced instruction set computing) processors were not as encouraging.
Overall, workstation shipments rose 1.8% from the second quarter, and 6.5% from last year's third quarter to 367,710 units, Dataquest said. The total number of Intel-based servers shipped in the third quarter edged up 2% from the second quarter, and 14% from the same period a year ago.
However, sales of servers with RISC processors fell from 53,956 units in the second quarter to 46,180 in the third quarter.
Among 32-bit and 64-bit servers with processors from Intel, Dell led the pack, followed by rival Hewlett-Packard. Dell shipped 128,426 servers in the third quarter, up 11% from the previous quarter and 27% year-on-year. HP's shipments dropped 3% from the second quarter to 121,280, but that number was up 0.8% from the third quarter of 2001. IBM was third with 44,794 units, down 3% from the second quarter but up 23% from last year's third quarter.
IBM gained ground on Sun Microsystems in Unix servers using RISC processors, but Sun still holds a healthy lead with 69% of the market in the third quarter.
In terms of shipments, Sun moved 31,782 units, down from 42,440 units in the second quarter. IBM shipped 9,035 units in the third quarter, up from 6,675 units in the second quarter, comprising 20% of the market share. HP trailed with 10% of the market, or 4,755 units, up slightly from the 4,122 units it shipped in the second quarter.
This is the second consecutive quarter of workstation gains after five quarters of consecutive losses, said Dataquest principal analyst Pia Rieppo.
Dell extended its healthy lead in workstation market share over HP in the third quarter. Dell's 40.5% of the market represented 149,004 units and a 29% increase of its share in the third quarter of 2001.
HP lost share amid the restructuring and consolidation after its purchase of Compaq, falling 10.2% to 81,125 units shipped in the third quarter of 2002, taking 22.1% market share. IBM was third with 56,223 units in the third quarter, which represented 15.3% of the market.
Falling shipments and revenues have blighted the workstation market over the past three years. The total number of workstation shipments in the first half of 2002 was around 723,000 units, half as many as were shipped in the first half of 1999, Rieppo said.
Intel's entry into the workstation market has caused aggressive price cuts among workstation vendors as they seek to take market share from RISC vendors such as Sun. Intel's workstation processors are cheaper than RISC processors, making them attractive to price-conscious IT managers.