Sun Microsystems experienced an estimated 20 percent sequential drop in global server shipments and market share in the third quarter, confirming speculation its delayed sale to Oracle is hurting the Silicon Valley pioneer.
Analyst firm Gartner estimated Sun's third quarter 2009 server shipments were 50,435 units, down from the 63,412 it estimated in the second quarter.
Sun's server market share fell accordingly - down from 3.8 percent to 2.6 percent.
The company was leapfrogged by Fujitsu, which recorded an increase in units shipped from 48,819 to 66,953.
HP retained top spot in the server shipment stakes, commanding a 32.1 percent market share as shipments increased by 93,247 units.
Dell was second with a 22.8 percent share while IBM came in third with 12.8 percent of the market.
The falls in server shipments by Sun appeared to confirm the vendor's recent 25 percent slump in quarterly revenues.
Gartner's own estimates of Sun's server revenues alone showed a matching 24.7 percent drop in revenues quarter-on-quarter.
HP and IBM have previously been noted to have been aggressive in poaching Sun hardware customers by taking advantage of the uncertainty.
Oracle is due to present its case on the Sun buy to the European Union on December 10.
A Gartner spokesman could not be reached prior to publication.