Global Server Shipments Q1 2010 Jump 23 Percent, Mobile PC Shipments Up 43 Percent, Researcher Says

Gartner projects 22 percent increase in worldwide PC shipments, 12 percent rise in global PC spending in 2010.

Server vendors shipped more 2.1 million units worldwide in Q1 2010, a 23 percent jump over the 1.7 million units shipped during the same period last year, along with a corresponding six percent uptick in revenue to about $10.7 billion, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

Additional data compiled by Gartner showed that global mobile PC shipments totaled some 49 million units during the quarter, a whopping 43 percent boost from the same period last year, representing about $36 billion in end user spending.

The growth rate for worldwide mobile PC shipments is the largest increase in eight years, Gartner said.

Gartner also projected that global shipments of PCs would total 376 million units in 2010, or a 22 percent increase over the 308 million units shipped last year. The researcher forecast a 12 percent jump in 2010 PC spending over last year’s figures to some $245 billion.

PCs shipped to home users worldwide are expected to grow nearly 30 percent in 2010, compared with a projected growth rate in the professional PC market of 13 percent, Gartner said.

HP leads server market

Hewlett-Packard Co. is the market share leader in the global server market, shipping 672,000 units representing $3.4 billion to command a 31 percent position in the segment, up more than two percent year-over-year.

On a revenue basis, IBM Corp. trails HP with a 28 percent share, amounting to $3 billion in worldwide server revenue for Q1 2010. The vendor posted a 2.1 percent revenue dip for the quarter, as demand for mainframe and Unix products slipped.

When measured on a unit shipment basis, Dell Computer Corp. with about 510,000 units shipped during the period, maintains a 24 percent share for second place behind HP.

Dell, Fujitsu Ltd. and HP all recorded revenue increases for the first quarter, Gartner said.

Jeffrey Hewitt, Gartner research vice president, said that despite the double-digit growth in global shipments, the server market still lags the high-water levels posted in 2008.

"We've seen a return to growth on a worldwide level, but the market has not yet returned to the historical quarterly highs that were posted in 2008, and there were some interesting variations in that growth," Hewitt said.

For example, while unit shipments for x86 servers bolted 25 percent and revenue ticked up 32 percent, Risc/Itanium Unix server shipments fell 28 percent and revenue declined 27 percent, Hewitt said.

Server shipments in the U.S. grew the most of any geographic region with a 28.6 percent increase, while Latin America had the highest vendor revenue growth at 27.9 percent for the period.

Mobile PC shipments driven by consumers but professionals catching up

For mobile PCs, Gartner said that while shipments to consumers worldwide drive the segment, purchases by professionals have picked up to the point where the researcher expects that portion of the market to experience stronger growth by the end of 2010 into 2011.

"Mini-notebook PCs were a big part of the bump in mobile PC shipments in the first quarter of 2010, with shipments growing 71 percent over the same period last year," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst.

Kitagawa said that mini-notebooks share of the overall mobile PC market slowed in some regions of the world as consumers realized the “limitations of mini-notebooks, especially in the face of aggressive price cuts of regular notebooks."

HP retained its lead position in worldwide mobile PC shipments, accounting for 19 percent of the market during the first quarter of 2010.

ASUS and Acer experienced the strongest growth rate among the top-tier vendors with shipment increases of 113 percent and 48 percent, respectively, prodded by growth in the low end of the consumer market.

Gartner estimates that there are about 500 million mobile PCs currently in use worldwide.

Robust Global PC forecast

In its forecast for 2010 PCs, Gartner said that consumer demand worldwide continues to grow even in an uncertain economy.

“Consumers are now viewing PCs as necessities rather than luxury items," said Ranjit Atwal, Gartner principal analyst.

"In the downturn, PCs remained the electronic device of choice on which to spend household income in mature markets, and we do not expect this to change either in 2010 or beyond," he said.

In the professional market, Gartner expects an impending end-of-life cycle and wide-scale adoption of Microsoft Corp.s’ Windows 7 operating system will drive PC replacements, Atwal said.

“Organizations will find it tougher to further extend PC life cycles without incurring more costs," he said. “This, together with the adoption of Windows 7 will generate robust demand in the professional market."

Gartner is forecasting stronger growth for PCs in the U.S. in the remainder of 2010 and for all of 2011.

"On a regional basis, PC markets in Western Europe, China, and the U.S. will generate more than half of 2010 PC shipment growth," said George Shiffler, Gartner research director. "Over half of PC shipment growth in 2011 will come from the U.S. and China,” he said.

TAGS: PC,HP,servers,Gartner,mobile PC

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