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AMD Up, HP Down in the Numbers Game

People will be eating hamburgers and hotdogs this Fourth of July, but today Gartner had to eat a little crow. It reissued its Q1 2008 server sales figures after receiving updated information on HP server sales and realized that the change was enough to warrant issuing a correction.

Gartner reported last May that worldwide server revenue rose 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to $13.6 billion. However, the company received new information that caused it to change the figures on HP sales.

Without getting into details on the process, Gartner research vice president Jeffrey Hewitt explained that the estimates are based on financial results that don't go into this level of detail, so Gartner does a lot of its own detective work to come up with its own numbers.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) revenue is made up of a bunch of different server segments, and there were changes in the average selling prices (ASPs) to some of the servers. The number of servers shipped does not change, only revenue derived from them, he explained. However, it was enough to affect the overall Q1 number and cost HP it's top spot in server revenue over IBM (NYSE: IBM).

So Gartner felt it had to clarify the numbers. "It's been years since we reissued data in a relatively short time from what we published," Hewitt told InternetNews.com. "We're pretty loathe to do that, but this was a case where we got additional info after the fact and felt we had to make some tweaks here. We realized it's not something we wanted to wait on."

Hewlett-Packard's revenue was initially put at $4.010 billion, for 29.6 percent of the overall revenue and 10.3 percent year-over-year growth. That was enough to put it just ahead of IBM, with $3.912 billion in revenue.

The revised numbers now put HP revenue at $ 3.773 billion for 28.3 percent of the overall revenue and 3.8 percent year-over-year growth. IBM's $3.912 billion remains unchanged and it moves into first place, barely.

It's hardly bragging rights for IBM. "The overall outlook doesn't change in term of long term or short term. It's one of those things where we decided based on the input, we needed to adjust ASPs," said Hewitt.

Next page: Up slope for AMD