Global server shipments are expected to increase 5% on year and see a slight sequential fall of only 1.8% in first-quarter 2021 thanks mainly to a ramp-up in demand from datacenter operators and the availability of new server processors, according to Digitimes Research.
As leading datacenter operators in the US advanced shipment pull-in from server makers in fourth-quarter 2020 due to concerns over possible production disruptions by the worsening pandemic, global server shipments for the quarter shrank only 9.6% sequentially, down from an estimated contraction of 13%.
Worldwide server shipments for full-year 2020 are estimated to have expanded 7.9% on year to over 16 million units after fluctuating over the course of the year, with shipments declining 18% sequentially in first-quarter and peaking in second-quarter with sequential increases of 28% before slowing down in the second half of the year, according to Digitimes Research's latest quarterly server tracker report.
Brand vendors may see their shipment growth momentum for 2021 dented by enterprise clients in the US and Europe slowing down server procurements as the lingering pandemic may continue affecting the global economy and even disrupt production of key components.
But the overall server shipments will remain on track for stable growth in 2021, given pandemic-induced strong datacenter server demand for cloud services, online shopping and video streaming applications, as well as strong replacement demand for servers adopting new-generation server CPUs released by Intel and AMD in the first half of the year.