Beancounters at Digitimes Research have been shuffling their tarot cards and predicted that global server shipments are forecast to fall 9 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Shipments rose only slightly to four million units in the traditional peak season in the third quarter, as buyers already had made significant purchases in the second quarter, and were less eager to place orders during the industry's transition to new platforms.
The transition factor is seen to keep playing a role in affecting shipment performance in the fourth quarter, Digitimes Research's latest server tracker report shows.
The world's three major server vendors Dell, HPE and Super Micro all saw their shipments for the third quarter stay flat or decline slightly on quarter. But server shipments to large datacentres stayed the major growth driver, posting a sequential increase of 11 percent in the quarter.
This is all bad news as most analysts had been predicting a significant sequential growth, but now most significant customers are expected to reduce their purchases in the fourth quarter to minimise the impact of the fast escalating US-China trade conflicts.
Global server shipments for the whole of 2018 will continue to grow but at a lower than expected annual pace of 10.5 percent.
Shipments are expected to remain in a low gear in the first quarter of 2019, but are likely to regain growth momentum in the second quarter.