Shipments of computer servers in the April-June quarter in Japan registered record-low growth in both volume and value terms amid prolonged repercussions attributable to the collapse of the information technology bubble, a market research agency said Wednesday night.

Second-quarter shipments saw a 17.7 percent decline from a year earlier to 83,205 units, and a 23.2 percent fall in value to 160.3 billion yen, according to Gartner Japan Ltd.

Both mark the poorest performances on record, the Japanese affiliate of GartnerGroup Inc. of the United States said, which began compiling statistics in 1996.

The figures follow a 5.7 percent decline in volume and an 18.2 percent drop in value in the January-March quarter.

Tadaaki Mataga, the agency’s senior analyst in charge of the server market, cited a lack of leaders among Net vendors as one of the factors for slack growth in the domestic server market.

“Many Net-related companies disappeared along with the collapse of the IT-bubble, and that made major Net vendors who had targeted Net businesses lose direction,” he said in the survey’s release.

Such vendors remained unable to come up with new concepts or new messages to stimulate demand, making users hesitant to make fresh investments in IT, he said.

“It is almost certain that the domestic server market will see minus growth for 2002,” he added.

Japan’s server market has been on a downward path since logging record year-on-year growth of 43.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Printers down 8.2%

Shipments of printers in Japan fell 8.2 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier to 3.26 million units, information technology research firm Gartner Japan Ltd. said Wednesday.

The value in the period also fell 11.2 percent to 176.3 billion yen, Gartner said.

Gartner attributed the fall to decreased IT-related investment amid the domestic economic slump and sluggish personal computer sales.

The company said shipments of all kinds of printers marked a decline, with those of ink jet printers falling 7.5 percent to 2.55 million units and those of laser printers, which are used mostly by businesses, down 11.3 percent to 606,000 units.

Shipments of ink jet printers rose rapidly in 1999 and 2000 due to increases in printing quality, but shipments in 2001 decreased on falling demand for personal computers, Gartner said.

The ink jet printer market has become almost saturated, it added.

Out of the total shipments of laser printers, those of color printers fell 11.7 percent to 86,000 units, while those of monochrome printers dropped 11.2 percent to 520,000 units, Gartner said.

Gartner said the color laser printer market is the only one whose growth is expected in the future. But its growth rate became sluggish in 2000, and has been falling since the second half of 2001.

It is more expensive to run a color laser printer than a monochrome printer, which prevents companies from replacing their monochrome printers with color printers amid declining IT-related investment, Gartner said.

Gartner revised down its printer market forecast for 2002. It said it now expects the market will shrink by between 3 percent and 5 percent in 2002 due to slumping demand form businesses. It said earlier it expected market size to remain unchanged.

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