Server manufacturers made 20% less in sales in the first quarter of 2014 than in the fourth quarter of 2013, shipping 10.8% fewer units, IDC figures show.
"Despite a strong push for additional capacity in mega datacentre customers and renewed focus on tower and rack volumes by the largest manufacturers, the macro-trend in the x86 market continues to point to value as the only real growth opportunity," said IDC analyst Giorgio Nebuloni.
IDC also predicted a slowdown in datacentre growth in Ireland as cloud providers expand into Western Europe.
"The Irish market is severely impacted by the slowdown in mega datacentre expansion by cloud providers there that are expected to focus more on building new facilities in Continental Europe in the next year to serve major markets from local datacentres," said Andreas Olah, research analyst, enterprise server group, at IDC.
"Government spending remains an inhibitor for growth in France and Spain, while investments continue to pick up in Germany and the UK," he added.
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In reaction to the shift towards the value end of the x86 market, IDC analyst Eckhardt Fischer said targeting higher-end blade systems is allowing suppliers to offset the drop in units shipped with higher average selling prices.
"Blade servers have also seen increased traction in integrated systems and datacentres-in-a-box, a segment that over the past year has seen strong double-digit growth in the region. We expect this to remain a constant in 2014, as blades become part of broader integrated solutions," he said.