Server sales down 5.4 pct in third quarter -Gartner

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Global computer server sales fell in the third quarter, hurt by a tough economy and tight credit, research firm Garner said on Monday.

Server revenue declined 5.4 percent to $12.7 billion, even as third-quarter shipments rose 4.4 percent to 2.3 million units.

The top sellers all posted year-over-year declines. IBM IBM.N, the revenue leader, saw a 4.2 percent drop to $3.86 billion, followed closely by Hewlett-Packard Co <HPQ.N, whose sales fell 3.9 percent to $3.79 billion.

Dell Inc DELL.O registered a drop of 5.2 percent to $1.5 billion, while Sun Microsystems' JAVA.O revenue fell 13.7 percent to $1.16 billion.

However, HP widened its lead in total server shipments, boosting its market share to 31.2 percent. Dell’s share dipped to 21.6 percent, while IBM’s fell more than a percentage point to 13.3 percent.

Shipments of RISC/Itanium Unix servers fell 16.1 percent in the quarter, and 10.8 percent in terms of revenue.

At the same time, shipments of x86 servers rose 5.5 percent, but lower average selling prices resulted in a revenue drop of 6.6 percent for the server type, Gartner said. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)