Dataquest: IBM tops Sun in U.S. server market

IBM tossed Sun Microsystems aside as market-share leader in U.S. server sales for the first quarter of 2001, according to research firm Dataquest, a division of Gartner.

Sun first overtook IBM as the U.S. server sales leader in 2000, sparking a bitter public relations battle between the vendors. Worldwide, the server market has been stagnant for the past year: Dataquest charted sector-wide revenue of US$12.04 billion for the quarter, down 1.8 percent from first-quarter 2000's revenue total of $12.26 billion.

Globally, IBM remains comfortably ahead of Sun, its nearest rival. Both companies slightly increased their worldwide market share during the first quarter. IBM's market share climbed to 26.8 percent, up from 26 percent in the year-ago quarter. Sun's share increased to 17.3 percent, from 17 percent.

Third-place Compaq also saw its market share grow, to 13.9 percent from 12.6 percent, displacing fourth-place Hewlett-Packard. HP suffered a market-share decrease in the first quarter to 12.7 percent, down from 14.1 percent in the year-ago quarter.

IBM's strong eServer revenue drove its increase in enterprise systems revenue in the first quarter, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Unix-based pSeries and PC-based xSeries posted solid revenue growth for the quarter, while revenue from the company's high-end z900 MIPS (millions of instructions per second) mainframe grew 40 percent, the filing said. Sales for IBM's iSeries product line of integrated application servers dropped during the quarter, a trend the company said it expects to reverse with the release of new, Linux-supporting servers in the second quarter.

During the first calendar quarter of 2001, Sun's third fiscal quarter, the company's server sales hit the wall, particularly in its enterprise and workgroup server product lines, Sun said in a recent SEC filing. The sales slump led to a year-over-year decline in Sun's product revenue. On Tuesday, the company warned that it would not hit earnings estimates for the quarter ending June 30.

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