By Emeka Aginam
NetApp Inc has overtake its three rivals including HP, Dell and Hitachi in storageÂ Â to move into second place in the market for external data storage equipment, whose overall sales grew 17 percent to $5 billion in the first quarter, according to market researcher IDC.
IDC said last weekÂ that NetApp was in a statistical tie with IBM (IBM.N) and behind industry giant EMC Corp (EMC.N) during the quarter ended March 31.
NetAppâ€™s sales climbed 47 percent from a year earlier to $550 million. While that was behind the $579 million posted by IBM, IDC said it considers the two tied because their total market share is within less than a percentage point of each other.
IBM owned 11.7 percent of the market during the first quarter, up from 11.2 percent a year earlier, while NetAppâ€™s share climbed to 11.1 percent from 8.8 percent.
â€œThatâ€™s a very big increase in market share,â€ IDC analyst Steve Scully, said.EMCâ€™s revenue climbed 38 percent from a year earlier to $1.2 billion. Its market share rose from 21 percent to 24.6 percent, according to IDC. Its sales were buoyed by revenue from Data Domain, a company it acquired in July.
Scully said that NetAppâ€™s market share has been growing so rapidly because it has a broad range of products that appeal to small, mid-sized and large companies. They all run on the same operating system, which makes it easy to upgrade as a company grows, he added.
A year ago, NetApp ranked sixth-place in IDCâ€™s rankings behind EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), IBM, Dell Inc (DELL.O) and Hitachi Ltd (6501.T).
NetAppâ€™s shares have doubled over the past year. Shares in its competitors have climbed between 10 percent and 45 percent. (Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Bernard Orr)