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Chinese Branded Orders and White-box Orders to Give a Boost to Server Shipments in 2014

Published: May 18,2014

Worldwide server shipments are estimated at 9.33 million units in 2014, up 6.5% year-on-year, bolstered by increasing market demand, according to MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute). Although the global server market size remains around the same, the rise of Chinese brands coupled with increased share of white-box server orders placed by large-scale internet service providers, have reshuffled the market share of established players.

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In the first quarter of 2014, orders placed by Chinese brands and white-box vendors grew in size, particularly white-box servers. Taiwanese server shipment volume is expected to have scored about 2.08 million units in the first quarter of 2014, up merely 1.5% year-on-year.

Sales of three traditional branded vendors, HP, Dell, and IBM all declined in the first quarter of 2014, with the consolidated market share decreasing to 52.7% in 2013, down from 67.4% in 2012. Results reflected that their market influence is slipping and Taiwanese ODM makers, who have long reliance on branded orders, are affected the most.

In recent years, Taiwanese makers have been sought to land more Chinese branded and white-box orders to compensate what they have lost in branded orders. MIC observed that the share of non-ODM orders is increasing quarter after quarter, reaching nearly 30% in the first quarter of 2014; while white-box orders constituted the majority share of non-ODM orders, the remaining orders were shipped as own-brand servers by a handful of ODMs.

In contrast to HP, Dell and IBM, shipments for Chinese brands and white-box brands are more project-centric. Therefore, the demand for servers is less stable and the forms of shipments are based on customer and project needs.

In the first quarter of 2014, shipment share of full-system servers increased slightly and cabinet servers which have higher ASP? also saw growth in shipments. This has helped lifted the industry's shipment value and ASP. In the first quarter of 2014, the industry's shipment value is forecast to have grown 49.4% year-on-year to US$236.2 billion.

Figure I: Taiwanese Server (System and Motherboard) Shipment Volume, 1Q 2012 - 3Q 2014 (Source: MIC)
Figure I: Taiwanese Server (System and Motherboard) Shipment Volume, 1Q 2012 - 3Q 2014 (Source: MIC)

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