|Michael Dell and Meg Whitman lock horns in battle for server market share|
Hewlett-Packard grew worldwide server shipments by more than 5 percent in the third quarter, halting a slump of eight consecutive quarters of shipment declines, according to preliminary market data from Gartner.
At the same time, Dell's worldwide server shipments, which in the second quarter fell just shy of HP's, plummeted by more than 14 percent in the third quarter as the company raced to close a $24.9 billion leveraged buyout spearheaded by Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.
HP's turnaround came in the quarter that started about one month after CEO Meg Whitman pledged to step up the server battle with Dell, saying she would not accept "very aggressive competitive pricing" from Dell or others as an "excuse" for poor sales performance at HP.
Those preliminary Gartner server sales numbers, which were made available to certain Gartner customers and confirmed Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Hewitt, show that the total number of servers sold in the third quarter reached 2.49 million units, up about 1.2 percent from the 2.43 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2012.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP sold 669,129 units during the third quarter, up 5.4 percent from 629,213 units in the third quarter of 2012, according to Gartner's preliminary worldwide server market data. HP's market share for the quarter climbed to 26.9 percent, up from 24 percent in the second quarter of 2013.
The last time HP saw growth in worldwide server shipments was the second quarter of 2011, according to Gartner.
Round Rock, Texas-based Dell shipped 484,607 servers during the third quarter, down 14.1 percent from 564,475, according to Gartner's preliminary results.
That drop gave Dell a market share of about 19.5 percent, down from its second quarter 2013 market share of 22 percent, Gartner said.
Should Gartner confirm that drop in early December when it releases its final server shipment estimates, it could slow Dell's enterprise transformation.
Uncertainty around the setback could also play into HP's hands. Whitman in August pledged to step up the server battle with Dell to go after its installed base.
"What I will tell you is a lot of customers are nervous about Dell," Whitman said. "What I can tell you first hand is uncertainty is not our friend in the business."
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