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Servers: Asia's Unit Shipment Grew 6 Percent In 2001

The fourth quarter heralded the end of another roller coaster year for the Asia Pacific Server market. Local and international financial and political issues have been providing some of the toughest challenges to the region since perhaps the Asian economic crisis in 1997.

Unit shipments within the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) server market grew 6.5 percent during Q4-2001 when compared to the preceding Q3-2001, according to Gartner Dataquest's latest Servers Quarterly Statistics report. Revenue also grew for the same period, but at a slightly slower rate of 5.7 percent. Year-on-year, comparing Q4-2001 to Q4-2000, the picture was less rosy with unit shipments falling slightly more than two percent although revenue grew nine percent.

"The disparity between unit shipments and revenue is interesting. The last couple of quarters of 2001 saw a number of new high-end products from Sun and IBM, such as Sun's F15K and IBM's Regatta P690 offering, which helped to drive revenue growth. After a particular tough third quarter in 2001, Sun achieved considerable success with its new V880, a low to mid-range Sunfire system, shipping almost 500 units across the region", said Matthew Boon, regional program manager for Gartner's Server Program.

Unit shipments in Singapore took a dive with a 19 percent decline in overall shipments comparing 2001 with 2000 as corporations continued to exercise caution on new hardware spending given the uncertain business environment. While Q4 2001 managed a percent unit growth quarter-on-quarter, the year-on-year result was a negative 34 percent.

Said senior analyst, servers and storage, Gartner Asia Pacific, Suzie Low: "Q4 2000 was an extremely strong quarter with 22 percent but we cannot expect the same result in the current tough market conditions."

China experienced a three percent growth in units during Q4-2001 when compared to Q3-2001, but growth year-on-year actually recorded a negative one percent.

"China was cushioned towards the end of Q3, even with the events of September, with focus on its acceptance into the World Trade Organization, hence weathering the storm. What we are seeing now is a general leveling off in China as the activities prompted by WTO acceptance calm down and things get back to normal", said Boon.

From a unit shipment perspective, the region managed to grow total shipment by around six percent in 2001 compared to 2000. While China stands out as one of the key contributors to this growth with 19 percent year-on-year unit shipment increase, other geographies such as Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam also offered strong full year-on-year growth.

Where vendors market share is concerned, IBM leads the market far ahead in terms of overall server-based revenue, covering over two-thirds of the total server revenue market. This is mainly attributed to its wide spread of server offerings, including its re-invigorated zSeries.

Analyzing the top five vendors from a revenue perspective (IBM, HP, Compaq, Sun and Dell), Sun, Compaq and Dell recorded increasing revenue market shares quarter-on-quarter. However IBM, HP and Dell managed increased market share year-on-year (Q4-00 versus Q4-01), whereas Sun and Compaq slipped slightly.

Table 1: Asia Pacific Server Unit Shipments (All Servers) of Major Markets for 4Q-00 versus Q3-01 and Q4-01 (Units)
  Shipments 2001 Q4 Shipments 2001 Q3 Shipments 2000 Q4 % Growth Q3-01 to Q4-01 % Growth Q4-00 to Q4-01
Total A/P Market 152,065 142,721 155,361 6.50% -2%
China 63,602 61,509 64,170 3.40% -1%
Australia 16,941 13,983 16,734 21.20% 1%
Korea 15,232 13,620 15,602 11.80% -2%
Taiwan 11,481 11,155 13,722 2.90% -16%
India 11,293 9,976 11,076 13.20% 2%
Hong Kong 7,819 8,048 9,151 -2.80% -15%
Singapore 4,511 4,307 6,784 4.70% -34%
Source: Gartner Dataquest (February 2002)

Table 2 : Asia Pacific Server Unit Shipments (All Servers) by Country for Full Year 2001 versus Full Year 2000 (Units)
  Unit Shipments 2001 Unit Shipments 2000 % Growth FY2000 V FY2001
Total AP 576,048 540,560 6.60%
China 237,188 198,684 19.40%
Australia 62,700 64,773 -3.20%
Korea 61,631 64,416 -4%
Taiwan 44,431 53,815 -17%
India 43,254 42,045 3%
Hong Kong 31,250 27,528 14%
Singapore 19,015 23,451 -19%
Malaysia 14,383 14,889 -3%
Thailand 14,159 12,981 9%
Indonesia 13,513 11,428 18%
Rest of Asia/Pacific 13,006 10,083 29%
New Zealand 10,487 7,784 35%
Philippines 6,039 5,509 10%
Vietnam 4,992 3,174 57%
Source: Gartner Dataquest (February 2002)

Table 3:Top Asia Pacific Server Vendor Market Shares (All servers) for 4Q01 versus Q3-01 and Q4-00 (Vendor Revenue)
Vendor Market Share Q4-01 Market Share Q3-01 Market Share Q4-00 % Growth Q3-01 to Q4-01 % Growth Q4-00 to Q4-01
IBM 38.10% 39.20% 31.10% 2.50% 33.30%
Hewlett-Packard 15.00% 18.80% 13.50% -15.50% 21.00%
Compaq Computer 13.80% 11.60% 18.30% 25.30% -17.80%
Sun Microsystems 12.50% 11.90% 14.60% 11.20% -6.30%
Dell Computer 4.00% 3.50% 3.80% 19.00% 13.80%
Unisys 2.10% 1.00% 1.30% 110.50% 80.40%
Fujitsu 1.60% 1.00% 1.20% 65.20% 39.70%
LangChao Electronics 1.50% 1.50% 2.20% 5.50% -26.20%
Legend 1.40% 1.40% 2.40% 6.90% -38.60%
Acer 1.00% 1.00% 1.60% 4.40% -34.60%
Source: Gartner Dataquest (February 2002)

In Japan, the volume of domestic server shipments increased to 460,000 units in 2001, up 19.4 per cent from the year before, according to a survey by Gartner Japan Ltd. Shipments were strong in the first half of the year, rising 30.3 percent from the year-earlier half, but growth tapered off sharply in the second half, leaving the full-year rate of increase 9.8 percentage points below the previous year's. In value terms, 2001 shipments were down 1.7 per cent from 2000 at US$6.66 billion, as the average price per server fell 17 per cent to 1.93 million yen (US$14,307), reported Nikkei.

Taking the mainframe server, Unix server and PC server markets together, NEC (6701) shipped more servers than any other company, with a 17.7 per cent market shar. In mainframe servers alone, however, Fujitsu (6702) was dominant, with a 37.2 per cent share, while Sun Microsystems KK was the main player in Unix servers, with a 52.6 per cent market share. NEC dominated personal computer servers, with a 20.3 percent share. Gartner said growth this year is likely to fall short of last year's level.