EMEA Thin Client Market Will Fight for Growth in 2014

Prague, March 14, 2014 – Thin client shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) increased by 2.9% year-on-year in 2013 to 1.85 million units, according to the EMEA Quarterly Enterprise Client Device Tracker published by International Data Corporation (IDC). After a gloomy start of the year for thin client vendors, the market rebounded in H2 2013, fuelled by renewal of commercial PC infrastructure due to approaching end of support for Microsoft's Windows XP. In the upcoming year, the thin client market will struggle to maintain growth; IDC forecasts that shipments will rise by 4.3% year-on-year in 2014. Over the five-year forecast period ending in 2018, the thin client market will post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2%.

In value terms, the EMEA thin client market increased a healthy 16.8% year-on-year, although volume growth was inhibited by rising ASPs, as end-user demand shifted to more powerful appliances.

In Q4 2013, the EMEA market grew by 3.8% year-on-year in volume to 552,873 units, while value leaped 22.4% to $192.0 million. The Western Europe (WE) market increased in volume by 5.1%, significantly outperforming that in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) which exhibited flat growth. The CEMA market will remain volatile throughout 2014, growing in volume by 5.1% year-on-year, slightly faster than the overall WE market, which will increase by 4.1% year on year.

Across the EMEA region, thin client sales have been cannibalizing terminal client sales, which contracted by 30.9% year-on-year in volume in 2013 and will continue to decline in 2014. Increased security concerns, especially among European firms, have a positive influence on demand for thin clients, which are usually perceived as more secure than traditional PCs. At the same time, a call for mobility and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend are shifting purchasing preferences to notebooks. The recent success of Chrombooks on the U.S. market in the education sector suggests that these inexpensive notebooks may become a strong competitor for thin client shipments in the EMEA region.