Following a strong first half of the year and a mild contraction in the third quarter, the global thin and terminal client market deteriorated during the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), declining 12 per cent year over year.
According to IDC, for all of 2014, worldwide shipments declined slightly (-0.2 per cent ), a weak comparison against Windows XP migration projects during 2013, which spurred more VDI adoptions, as well as the continued decline of terminal client deployments.
Beyond the top line numbers, there were some silver linings – thin clients remained resilient, growing 4.6 per cent for all of 2014, with the volume decline isolated to the terminal client market, which has seen continued deterioration.
Secondly, mature markets also did well, growing 4.3 per cent for 2014, where a number of trials have finally came to full deployments and companies increasingly see the improved experience and longer terms savings from deploying VDI.
Looking ahead, IDC expects Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) to reclaim the title as the biggest region for shipments in 2015, as a number of delayed projects in 2014 should resume.
Mature markets are also expected to follow suit, growing along with Asia to take global shipments to nearly six million units in 2015.
"Although currency impacts and a faster-than-expected slowing of momentum from migrations earlier in the year resulted in a fourth quarter that was less than forecast, more and more IT decision makers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept and requirements of a successful desktop virtualization, leading IDC to project steady growth ahead " notes Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Enterprise Client Device Trackers, IDC.
According to Chou, thin clients closed the year taking 96 per cent of enterprise client devices and, despite the overall slowdown, managed to grow 4.6 per cent in 2014.
Thin Clients without Operating Systems (zero clients) however, saw another decline in 4Q14 and ended 2014 with a 26 per cent share of the total thin client market.
Dell took the number one position in 4Q14, the result of some key shipments in the Financial sector while NComputing, hampered by its financial troubles, faced conservative uptake from its channels and a drop to the number five position worldwide.
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