Agence France Presse

Singapore, March 15:

Demand for computer servers in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan rose by 6.7 per cent to slightly more than five billion dollars in 2003, US-based research firm Gartner said today.

Sales were led by the booming Chinese and Indian markets as the region recovered from the impact of the war in Iraq and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Gartner said.

“2003 actually illustrated the resilience of the local market to adversity such as SARS and conflict in Iraq,” said Matthew Boon, Gartner regional vice-president for hardware and systems. Server sales in China rose by 10 per cent to $1.62 billion in 2003, accounting for 32.4 per cent of the regional total, up from 31.6 per cent in 2002. “Growth in the uptake of low-end Intel servers propelled revenue especially from small- and medium-sized businesses and also from government,

finance and telecommunications sectors,” Gartner said.

South Korean sales fell by 1.9 per cent to $1.06 billion or 21.1 per cent of the total. “Delays and cancellation of big projects led to lower hardware spending in South Korea in 2003,” said Gartner, “However, consolidation initiatives in the finance and banking sector and investment in telecommunications helped lower the overall decline rates.”

Sales in India rose by 31.9 per cent to $327.1 million and are tipped to grow further as the world’s top companies outsource operations there, Gartner said.

“The Indian market has been growing steadily given the healthy economy and improved business confidence,” said Vinod Nair, Gartner India’s computing systems analyst, “Server deployments in finance and banking and the telecommunications sector have been the main drivers in 2003. With more multinational companies looking to set up base in India and the outsourcing business growing demand for both Intel and Unix servers is expected to increase steadily in 2004.” Sales in Taiwan grew by 2.8 per cent, in Singapore by 15.7 per cent but in Hong Kong fell by 5.3 per cent.