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IBM gains share as server market picks up

Server market grew faster during first quarter than during the fourth, as x86 servers continue to outpace Unix servers.

IBM gained ground on rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the server market during the first quarter, according to research released Tuesday by Gartner.

IBM's unit shipments grew by 19.3 percent during the quarter, faster than the overall pace of the market, while Dell and HP trailed the pace. Overall shipments grew 13.7 percent compared with last year's first quarter, but revenue was flat, Gartner said. During the fourth quarter, shipments grew 12.7 percent but revenue was up 4.5 percent.

Low-end servers based on Intel and Advanced Micro Devices' x86 chips continue to drive the market, as they did last year, Gartner said. Shipments of Unix servers fell 0.9 percent, but revenue from those shipments fell 5.1 percent.

IBM's overall server revenue fell, based on declines in revenue from the company's Unix servers and mainframes. But revenue from its x86 servers grew 11 percent and it increased its overall share of the market by 0.7 percent.

HP is the largest server vendor as measured by units. Its shipments grew 8 percent in the first quarter, but it lost 1.4 percent of market share. Dell's shipments grew 7.1 percent during the quarter, as it lost 1.3 percent of market share. Dell also lost a point of revenue share, during a quarter in which it agreed to end its exclusive deal with Intel and release servers based on AMD's chips.

AMD's share of the worldwide x86 server market increased to 14.3 percent, up from 11.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the company said in a statement released after Gartner's numbers emerged. A Gartner analyst could not be immediately reached to confirm those numbers.