Asia/Pacific server sales up in Q4, but a slowdown is nigh

Sales of servers to the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) market last year reached $US6.3 billion in 2000, 33 per cent higher than in 1999, according to a report released recently by IDC. But there will be a slowdown in sales growth in 2001 as users brace themselves for tougher times. On the positive side, 2001 will also see falling prices, greater competition, newer technology and shorter life cycles in the server market, IDC said.

Drivers of sales growth -- especially in the second half of the year -- included renewed investments in areas such as business intelligence applications, server consolidation and expansion of Internet activities, IDC said.

Internet data centres -- which remained unaffected by the dot-com debacle -- maintained strong investments on all types of server, especially those based on standard Intel Corp. architecture, IDC said.

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2000 reach $US1.79 billion, 32 per cent higher than the same quarter in 1999, largely due to a 76 per cent surge in sales in the region's biggest server market, China. With sales of $US526 million, China now has a 29 per cent share of the Asia/Pacific server market.

In the region outside China, fourth-quarter sales were up 19 per cent compared with the previous fourth quarter. Korea, the second biggest market, grew 22 per cent to account for one quarter of the region's server market.

Australia and Taiwan performed poorly in the fourth quarter, with Australian sales growing by nine per cent and Taiwanese sales falling by one per cent compared to the fourth-quarter of 1999. Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines saw growth of more than 30 per cent in the period.

IBM. topped the overall server market by value when it grabbed a 34 per cent share in the fourth-quarter of 2000 with its AS/400, RS/6000 and Standard Intel Architecture Servers (SIAS) platforms performing well, according to IDC.

Compaq did well with its SIAS systems and its Alpha business also improved. Hewlett-Packard aided by a 95 per cent annual growth revenue from sales of entry-level non-SIAS systems, ranked third.

Sun Microsystems posted 51 per cent growth in revenue over the fourth-quarter of 1999 after performing particularly well in the entry servers segment with telecommunications, ISPs/ASPs, Internet data centres and education customers being its forte. Dell, at number five, posted the biggest increase in revenue among the top five at 55 per cent year-on-year in the fourth-quarter 2000, IDC said.

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