Thin client sales surge in Q4

Thin client sales surge in Q4

Summary: After talking about thin clients for years in developed markets, growth is appears to be taking off in Asia Pacific and EMEA, according to IDC.


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.

thin client idc regions

Here's a look at the leading players in thin clients in the fourth quarter.

thin clients idc March 17

Topics: Hardware, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Virtualization

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  • Good news

    Interesting that Asia is showing the fastest growth.
    I wonder if it's due to fewer legacy systems.

    Aren't the Chrome Books and Chrome Boxes essentially thin clients?
    • You can use a ChromeOS device as a thin client

      Its not the best thin client. Most enterprise thin clients are dedicated systems that you configure so that they boot right into the VDI or Remote Terminal.

      Note that cost of the equipment, licensing, the backend resources, etc is not cheaper than a fat client. Most of the time these systems are setup to achieve better stability of the UI (problem with a VDI, just reset it), faster turn of a problem thin client (can be done in minutes), even security issues as all the data is in the server farm.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • "Aren't the Chrome Books and Chrome Boxes essentially thin clients?"

    no, they are not
  • Thin clients used by contact centers

    I used to work for a BPO four years ago. That time they started using thin clients to replace desktops. Contact centers in Asia continue to grow so the increase in use of thin clients is expected.