Though the worldwide server market saw continued growth in 2001, the annual growth rate in unit shipments for the year was at its lowest since 1996, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by Gartner's Dataquest division.
Worldwide server shipments totaled 4.4 million in 2001, an increase of 1.8 per cent from 2000, Gartner Dataquest said in a statement.
Gartner Dataquest pointed to the general global economic slowdown along with the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US as reasons for the decline in growth. In the US alone, the server market dropped by 9.5 per cent in 2001, with shipments of 1.7 million units as compared to 1.9 million units in 2000, Gartner Dataquest said.
While Compaq Computer held on to its top spot as the worldwide leader with 23.3 per cent of the worldwide server market (followed by Dell Computer, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems), Dell led in the US market with 23.4 per cent, followed closely by Compaq with 22.6 per cent, Gartner Dataquest said.
Dell was singled out by Gartner Dataquest for being the only company in the top five to see growth in both the US and worldwide server markets due to its direct business and build-to-order models, which encouraged low inventory levels, as well as the company's focus on one-, two- and four-way servers.
The preliminary numbers are in line with a previous Gartner Dataquest report in November indicating that businesses in Western Europe are opting to upgrade old servers or buy low-end systems rather than the high-end products they would have bought in 2000. Intense price competition between server makers was also taking its toll on the market, Gartner Dataquest said.
"As for Dell, they are the company that is going to come out on top in the end only because they have been able to strip out all excess costs," Bleasdale said.
Gartner Dataquest's full report on the server markets in both the US and globally is due sometime next month.