Sales of server hardware in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) rose 36 per cent in 1999 over the previous year's figure to a record value of $US4.67 billion, according to a report released last week by market analyst International Data Corp (IDC).
The rapid market expansion was fuelled by the region's sustained economic recovery, increased spending on Internet-related applications and year 2000-driven spending.
The market also benefited from positive investment sentiment in the corporate and government sectors, IDC said. PC servers showed the most rapid growth with sales up 68 per cent over their 1998 level, while sales of high-end servers - costing over $1 million - grew just 3 per cent, because of year 2000 concerns in this sector.
The top five markets - Korea, China, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore - accounted for 79 per cent of the regional spending on servers.
Sales in Korea jumped 81 per cent over 1998 because of rapid economic recovery, enabling the country to regain its position as the region's largest server market, ahead of China.
All of the countries in the survey posted double-digit sales growth except New Zealand, IDC said.
Other fast-growing markets were Indonesia (up 143 per cent), Malaysia (up 64 per cent) and Thailand (up 49 per cent).
IBM remained the largest server vendor, with a 30 per cent market share, as strong growth in RS/6000 and PC server sales offset a slowdown in sales of its proprietary platforms.
The fastest-growing major vendor was Dell, whose 1999 sales rose by 204 per cent over the previous year to place it as the fifth largest vendor behind IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Sun Microsystems.