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Asian server sales hit record $1.8 billion

Renewed investments by traditional companies in areas such as business intelligence applications, server consolidation and Internet expansion contribute to the growth.

SINGAPORE--Asia-Pacific server sales hit a record $1.79 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, according to market research firm IDC.

Server revenue for the region, excluding Japan, grew 32 percent over the same period in 1999, IDC said.

Contributing to the growth were renewed investments by traditional companies in areas such as business intelligence applications, server consolidation and Internet expansion. Growth was also spurred by the growing number of Internet data centers investing in infrastructure, IDC added.

The largest market was China, which led the region with a 76 percent year-over-year surge in server sales to about $526.5 million for the fourth quarter.

"Finance, telecom, government and manufacturing were the main segments that fueled growth" in China, IDC said.

Hong Kong's server sales grew 42 percent to $107.3 million for the quarter, driven by demand in the finance, telecommunications and distribution sectors. This was followed by the Singapore server market, which rose 37 percent to $103.1 million.

Meanwhile, the Korean market market slowed to 22 percent year-over-year growth, hurt by the dot-com crunch and a sluggish economy. The Korean server market, the second largest in the Asia-Pacific, reached about $450.6 million in the December quarter.

The third-largest market, Australia, saw server sales increase 9 percent to $240.5 million, marred by a sluggish economy.

Taiwan's server sales, however, dipped 1 percent year-over-year to $119.5 million. The Taiwan market was the fourth largest in the region in the December quarter.

Avneesh Saxena, associate director of server research for IDC Asia-Pacific, expects a greater demand for servers from existing and new consumers "due to falling prices, greater competition, newer technology, and shorter life cycles."

IBM topped the overall server market in revenue, with a 34 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2000. It registered regional sales of $616.1 million, driven mainly by demands in the financial sector, IDC said.

Next in line was Compaq Computer, with sales of $327.9 million, thanks mainly to purchases in the telecommunications sector. Hewlett-Packard came in third, with sales of $287 million. Fourth and fifth places were taken by Sun Microsystems and Dell Computer, respectively, with fourth-quarter sales of $255.4 million and $65.2 million.

CNET Singapore's Irene Tham reported from Singapore.