Despite the bravado of chief executive Larry Ellison, Oracle continued to take a pounding in the EMEA server market during Q4 2010.
Figures from Gartner reveal global server revenues in 2010's closing quarter rose 16.4 per cent on the corresponding period last year to $14.7bn (£9.1bn). Across the full year, server sales rose 13.2 per cent to $48.8bn.
In EMEA, Q4 server sales were up 10.4 per cent annually to $4.3bn, while unit shipments increased 4.4 per cent to 706,202.
HP was EMEA's leading vendor by revenue during Q4, but second-placed IBM narrowed the gap after a stellar quarter. HP's sales grew 8.5 per cent annually to $1.6bn, giving the vendor a 36.4 per cent slice of the market. But Big Blue enjoyed a 19.2 per cent annual revenue spike, and its $1.4bn top line translated to a 32.3 per cent market share. HP's lead has been cut by three points in the last year.
Dell, in third, was the quarter's star performer, with sales growing 29.7 per cent to $441.6m, and market share up 1.6 points annually to 10.3 per cent. Fourth-placed Fujitsu posted solid Q4 numbers, with EMEA sales rising 14.5 per cent annually to $252.2m. The Japanese firm's market share rose three tenths of a point to 5.9 per cent.
Oracle completed the top five, but the Sun Microsystems owner continued to struggle to adapt to life in the hardware world. Revenue, unit shipments and market share have all been nigh on cut in half over the last year. Having been EMEA's third biggest vendor in Q4 2009, it is now languishing in fifth, with sales of $217.5m, and a 5.1 per cent piece of the market.
Gartner research director Adrian O'Connell claimed that sales of x86 technology – which rose 17.4 per cent annually in Q4 – were becoming "ever more critical" to the EMEA market. While stressing that 2010 has been a decent year, he cautioned that the market remains "in a fairly tentative recovery mode".
"The fourth quarter rounded off an encouraging year for the server market in EMEA, with each quarter seeing positive year-to-year growth rates for both shipments and revenues," added O'Connell. "EMEA was particularly badly hit by the downturn in 2009, and, although economic concerns continue across much of the region, the server market has shown good momentum during 2010."
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