Asian server shipments rose 6.5 percent in Q4

Sales of servers in Asia grew 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to the previous quarter, rising to 152,065 units, with most major markets in the region experiencing a rebound in sluggish sales, according to figures from market analyst Gartner Inc.

The rebound was achieved without the usual strong IT growth in China. After a strong third quarter, when China was preparing for World Trade Organization (WTO) entry, server sales in China grew just 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter, to 63,602 units.

Australia remained the second-largest server market in Asia-Pacific, posting 21.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter to record sales of 16,941 units. Sales growth was also strong in India and South Korea, but Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore failed to show a significant rebound.

For the full year of 2001, server sales in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) grew 6.6 percent to 576,048 units, buoyed by strong 19.4-percent growth in China. Outside China, server sales in 2001 were 1 percent lower than in 2000, with particularly sharp drops being experienced in Taiwan and Singapore. Some of the smaller markets, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Vietnam, showed strong sales growth through the year.

Some larger server systems such as Sun Microsystems Inc.'s F15K and IBM Corp.'s Regatta P690 began to appear in the region late in the year, creating an imbalance between unit sales growth and revenue growth. In Singapore, for example, fourth-quarter unit sales were 34 percent lower than in fourth-quarter 2000, while server revenue grew 3 percent over the same period.

IBM remains easily the largest server vendor in the region, with a 38.1 percent market share. Hewlett-Packard Co., Compaq Computer Corp. and Sun were the only other vendors with a market share above 10 percent. For sales of Intel-based servers, Compaq just edged out IBM for the top spot with a market share of 19.8 percent.

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