Revenue or Units Shipped? What Should Shares Be Measured With?

A recent CRN article showed that Dell has gained significant shares the server space over HP and IBM, however an IDC representative states that units shipped do not represent accurate market share, and I disagree.

An article by CRN on August 13, 2013 revealed some early IDC numbers that show Dell gaining shares in Q2 2013 while HP and IBM fall behind.  Upon my retweeting the article, a representative of IDC, Jed Scaramella replied back to me that “Units is also not the best measure of server share.” and that “Revenue is more important.Servers are a value market. Margins can dictate success.”  Let’s think about this.  Based on what Jed is saying, a blade server vendor who charges more should earn more market share than the vendor who sells more blade servers.  Perhaps I’m just naïve with my Bachelors Degree in Science, but I don’t understand why how much a vendor sales in a given quarter versus the amount of products they sell should equate to market share.  Does Apple own the x86 PC space because they charge big bucks for desktop PCs?  I don’t think so – but in the x86 server space, market share seems to be related to the revenue versus the # of systems sold.

Before the doubters point fingers at me and say “he works for Dell”, let me state, the opinions stated above are not related to who has the most # of units sold.  I don’t care who owns the top $ market share for servers sold – my comments are based on the simple question of what matters most, how much something is sold for, or how many units are sold.

Please, let me know your thoughts.  I need to know what others think.


Kevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of  He has over 15 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.  Kevin works for Dell as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global Enterprise market.

Disclaimer: The views presented in this blog are personal views and may or may not reflect any of the contributors’ employer’s positions. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or published by any employer.

One thought on “Revenue or Units Shipped? What Should Shares Be Measured With?

  1. returnofthemus

    Without a doubt Dell is the low-cost leader in the x86 compute space, which is after all a commodity and given the economic climate its not suprising that Dell should be shipping more units, while others are attempting to focus on higher margin value.

    The big ? hanging over Dell is this long running management buy-out saga and what the end result might mean for their, so far successful business model.

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