PC sales may be stagnant, but thin clients shipments surged in the fourth quarter to 1.6 million units, according to IDC data.
IDC said that fourth quarter shipments were up 17.4 percent from a year ago, well ahead of forecasts. For 2013, 5.5 million thin clients and terminal devices shipped.
As for the outlook, IDC is projecting shipment growth of 7.4 percent for 2014 to 5.9 million units.
After talking about thin clients for years, growth is appears to be taking off in international markets. The argument for thin clients---one operating system delivered centrally, easy management and security, has always been compelling, but markets like the U.S. have been difficult even with developments like desktop virtualization.
Emerging markets, however, are building out on thin clients. Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa had unit growth of 30.5 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively.
Asia-Pacific appears to be eyeing thin clients the most. Thin clients have 93.6 percent of the enterprise client market followed by terminal clients. Windows embedded thin clients have 40.7 percent share of the market, but devices without operating systems now occupy 26.8 percent share.
Here's a look at the leading players in thin clients in the fourth quarter.