Server shipments grew 14 per cent in 2000 thanks to strong sales in Q4.
Worldwide sales totalled 3.9 million for the year. In Q4 shipments reached 1.1 million, up 21 per cent on 1999's fourth quarter.
Shahin Naftchi, senior analyst for servers and workstations at Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group, put the healthy growth down to "adequate component supplies and robust Intel architecture server market growth."
Sun and Dell were the year's winners, with growth of 61 per cent (287,000 shipments) and 42 per cent (573,000 units) respectively.
Compaq managed to hang onto the top server spot, flogging more than a million units in the year for the first time, and showing 11 per cent growth - but it's market share slipped around one percent on the year before to 27 per cent. IBM kept its number two spot, with 17 per cent of the market and 658,000 shipments, followed by Dell, 15 per cent market share, and HP, 11 per cent with 440,000 units. Sun nabbed seven per cent.
In Q4 the US market grew 32 per cent, largely fuelled by e-business. "Because of the length of typical server purchase cycles, the next two quarters will be critical in assessing the impact of current economic situation on the server market," said Jeffrey Hewitt, Dataquest principal server analyst.
Gartner also released statistics on workstation sales, which grew 11 per cent to top 1.6 million units in 2000. And analysts predicted the industry may see an upturn this year thanks to the Pentium 4-based uniprocessor workstation.
"They represent a significant change in product positioning since dual processor scalability is a key component of current IA workstation definition. Because the product was introduced in the fourth quarter, the shipments were only in the hundreds," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst covering workstations for Gartner's Computing Platform Worldwide group.
"We expect the Pentium 4 ramp up in the first and second quarters of 2001, although many end users may bypass these workstations and wait until the dual-processor chipsets and the Pentium 4 Xeon CPU arrives this spring."
Dell stole the workstation crown from Sun, with 60 per cent growth, 382,000 shipments, giving it 23 per cent of the market. Sun sold 359,000 workstations, with 11 per cent growth and 22 per cent market share. HP saw sales drop seven per cent to 290,000 units, while Compaq grew 11 per cent with 230,000, and IBM lost 19 per cent with 176,000 workstations shifted.
Sales grew 11.3 per cent in Q4, but analysts warned of a slackening demand in the US during the period. This market, which accounts for around half of all workstation shipments, is expected to continue to be weak in early 2001. ®