IDC: HP Still Top Dog

Year-over-year, HP has maintained its lead in storage - but IBM is catching up

March 8, 2003

2 Min Read
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The highly anticipated quarterly revenue numbers for the storage industry from IDC dropped in our mailbox this morning, revealing that despite its messy, complex merger with Compaq, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) is managing to stay on top (see IDC: Storage Sales Down 15% in 02).

The preeminent tea-leaf readers announced that worldwide disk storage revenue for the full year 2002 was slightly better than expected at $19.9 billion, a decline of 15 percent compared with 2001. IDC had previously forecast a year-over-year decline of around 24 percent (see Storage Sales Fall 24% in 2002). Revenue for the fourth quarter was $5.4 billion, up 12 percent compared with the third quarter of 2002.

"The fourth quarter's results were similar to what we have seen in the server market," said John McArthur, group VP of storage research at IDC, in a statement. "We expect to see a return to more normal seasonal changes as companies have already made their major adjustments to storage spending."

Competition continued to be fierce during the quarter, resulting in several statistical ties, IDC said. In the fourth quarter, HP and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) statistically tied for the No. 1 position, each with 25 percent revenue share. In addition, there was a three-way statistical tie for the No. 4 position among Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) although Sun posted the strongest growth among these three, with 17 percent sequential growth from the third quarter of 2002.

HP claims IBM was able to sneak up and join it in the top spot this quarter because of the way the two companies report their fiscal years."November to January is historically a down quarter for HP, while IBM reported its end of year quarter, which is traditionally stronger," says Bob Schultz, VP of marketing in HP's Network Storage Solutions division.

Here's why HP would like you to focus on the yearly rather than quarterly numbers: The company maintained its No. 1 position with 21 percent revenue market share. For the fourth quarter, IBM and EMC tied for second, with 17 percent revenue share each. There was a similar scenario in the total external RAID market, where HP and EMC tied for the No. 1 position, with 19 percent of the revenue share each. In the total external storage system market, overall revenue increased 12 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the open systems SAN market outperformed the overall market in the fourth quarter, with 14 percent sequential growth. The NAS market was weaker but continues to be healthy, with 4 percent sequential growth, according to IDC.

HP led the open systems SAN market with 28 percent revenue share, followed by EMC with 26 percent share. In the NAS market, Network Appliance Inc.

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