Hewlett-Packard took the top spot for worldwide x86 server unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, posting a rise in shipments as rivals Dell and IBM posted declines, according to preliminary worldwide fourth-quarter shipment data from researcher IDC.
HP's worldwide x86 server shipments grew 9 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with a huge 20.3 percent drop in shipments for IBM and a 5.4 percent drop in shipments for Dell, according to the IDC estimates, which were viewed by CRN.
The steep decline in IBM shipments come as the computer giant is preparing to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo in a massive $2.3 billion deal. IBM Jan. 23 confirmed plans to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo after nearly a year of speculation that the deal might happen.
The Dell shipment declines, meanwhile, come after the company spent most of 2013 in a protracted battle to become private. Dell in October finally became private in a $24.9 billion leveraged buyout and is now restructuring the company to focus more on the enterprise IT solutions market and less on low-margin PCs.
Overall, HP captured the top spot in the worldwide x86 server unit market share with 29.9 percent share in the fourth quarter compared with 21.1 percent market share for Dell, 8.8 percent market share for IBM, and 3 percent market share for Cisco, according to the preliminary IDC data.
HP's server shipment increase in the fourth quarter marks the second consecutive quarter of HP shipment gains after a slump of eight consecutive quarterly shipment declines.
Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider, said he started working with Dell servers after Dell acquired his primary storage provider, Compellent, and that Davenport Group's Dell server sales have been growing.
"At least, that's happening in our section of the world," Clifford said. "But on a grander scale, a lot of people in the fourth quarter knew Dell was going private. They saw a lot of change coming. Dell has killer servers. But Dell is going through a transition."
Clifford said that both Dell and HP have excellent servers. "Dell and HP are going to be arguing about this for the rest of their lives," he said. "I think Dell servers are a little better than HP. Today. But these two companies are fighting for the numbers."
Jed Scaramella, server research director at IDC, responded to a CRN email asking for more information about the report by saying that IDC does not comment on preliminary numbers.
The findings of the IDC preliminary server shipments report are similar to those in Gartner's preliminary fourth-quarter 2013 server report as reported last month by CRN.
PUBLISHED FEB. 12, 2014