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Thin clients recover from EMEA PC battle

IDC projects growth until year end, following XP retirement

Thin clients recover from EMEA PC battle

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) thin-client market posted single-digit growth in the third quarter, according to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) EMEA Quarterly Enterprise Client Device Tracker.

In 2014, during a transition period of IT upgrades, thin clients were competing directly and intensely with commercial PCs for market share, according to the ICT industry research firm.

"Although thin clients are still a niche market in EMEA, their dynamic growth has exceeded the market average during the first three quarters of 2014," the company said in a statement. IDC expects the share of thin clients in overall shipments of commercial PC hardware to grow from 4.2% in 2013 to 4.4% in 2014 and continue increasing over the long term.

Thin-client shipments in EMEA went up by 8.8%, year on year, in Q3 2014, which corresponded to about 94,500 units. Shipment value increased by 16.2%, year on year, to reach $182.1m. Market growth is slowing as the influence of postponed hardware upgrades and end of support for Windows XP, the main forces behind the market's strong performance throughout much of the year, weakens. IDC expects the market to record single-digit growth again in Q4 2014 and then decline marginally in 2015 by about 0.2%, year on year, as a result of a decline in the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region (CEMA).

"For the last three years, the EMEA thin-client market has become increasingly polarised in terms of market-volume share across individual country markets," notes Oleg Sidorkin, senior research analyst at IDC.

"Rapid deployment of thin-client technology generates a leveraging effect, accelerating further technology adoption." As a result, the top four countries in EMEA in terms of shipments - Germany, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and France - have increased their cumulative volume share from 58.7% of the total EMEA market in 2012 to 60.3% in 2013. And that figure is expected to reach 65.1% by the end of 2014. The largest EMEA markets will remain the most attractive for thin-client vendors, as they are also expanding the fastest. Once vendors gain a foothold in these markets, they can grow quickly, as these markets continue to increase their EMEA share."

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