Thin Clients Grow in PC Battle

By Bob Raikes
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Thin clients achieved single-digit growth in EMEA in Q3’14, says IDC, competing directly (and intensely) for market share with commercial PCs. While these products are still niche in the region, they have grown faster than the market average throughout 2014. IDC expects thin clients’ EMEA shipment share to rise from 4.2% in 2013 to 4.4% in 2014.

In Q3, thin client shipments increased 8.8% YoY; an increase of about 94,500 units. Shipment value rose almost twice as fast, up 16.2% to reach $182.4 million. The growth of the commercial PC market is slowing, as the influence of postponed hardware upgrades and Windows XP replacements weakens. Single-digit growth is forecast for Q4’14 and then a minor (0.2%) decline in 2015; this will be a knock-on effect of the decline in the CEMA region.

The economic situation in Russia and the Ukraine is still unbalanced. The rapid fall in value of the rouble will limit shipments in Q4’14 and lead to a further decline in the first half of 2015. Shipment volumes are likely to be affected across the region. The first signs of recovery are likely to appear in the second half of next year.

“For the last three years, the EMEA thin-client market has become increasingly polarised in terms of market volume share across individual country markets”, said IDC senior research analyst Oleg Sidorkin, “Rapid deployment of thin-client technology generates a leveraging effect, accelerating further technology adoption”.

As a result of the above, thin client shipments in EMEA’s largest markets (Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and France) have seen their combined volume share rise. From 58.7% in 2012, these countries represented 60.3% of the total EMEA market in 2013 – and are likely to reach a 65.1% share this year.