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Worldwide Server Shipments to Peak in 2020 Due to Business-Transforming 5G Technology, Says TrendForce

22 April 2019 Semiconductors Mark Liu

According to  DRAMeXchange  , a division of  TrendForce  , the global server market is predicted to continue growing in 2019, but under the pressures of business cycles and worldwide uncertainty, this year's server shipment growth has shrunk slightly compared to 2018, coming to 3.9%.

DRAMeXchange Senior Analyst Mark Liu points out that, upon analyzing the market, worldwide server growth momentum in 2018 mainly derived from North American brands, which comprised over 30% of total shipments. Category-wise, enterprise servers still form the largest shipment group, while the share of shipments toward internet datacenters is growing year by year, growing from 35% in 2018 to 40% in 2019. As 5G begins to transform businesses, telecommunications companies and internet providers will increase in their demand for servers. Predictions are that server shipments will peak in 2020.

Looking back at the first season this year, datacenter demand was relatively unaffected by the traditional offseason, as total shipments continued to experience stable growth. ODM direct business shipments grew by 1.3% compared to the previous season. As orders continue to arrive in the second season, we may still see seasonal growth of around 1%-3%, bringing market shares up to 26.6%.

Brands were hit by the offseason in the first quarter, with their shipments falling by over 20% compared to last quarter, but the market made a notable recovery entering the second. Looking at the global market share rankings of server brand manufacturer in 2H19, we see Dell EMC, HPE (including H3C) and Inspur taking the top three spots, with market shares of 15.8%, 13.7% and 7.5%, respectively.

Worth mentioning is that China's top cloud service providers will drop by about 15% YoY in server purchases this year, while North American companies will be less affected, their purchases projected to keep growing by 5%-10%. As for second-tier companies such as China's Bytedance and North America's NetApp, this year's server purchases will grow by over 40% compared to last year, thanks to overseas business development and self-built datacenters contributing to demand.

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