IDC: China’s Thin Client Device Market Grew 5.1% YoY in H1 2015

Beijing, 15 September 2015 - According to IDC's “China Quarterly Thin Client Market Tracker, 2015Q2”, total shipments in China’s thin client market rose 5.1% year on year to 379,000 units in the first half of 2015. Centerm remains the largest vendor, enjoying a comfortable lead over its closest competitor. Steady expansion in the market during the last six months has been largely driven by purchases from the financial, manufacturing and education sectors, as well as large orders from China Mobile.

Due to the overall cost advantage of cloud-based solutions, thin clients still enjoy a huge competitive edge over traditional commercial PCs. IDC projects that China’s total shipments for thin clients will increase 6.3% year on year to 950,000 units in 2015 and hit 1.03 million units in 2019, translating into a compound average growth rate of 2.5%. Our study and analysis suggests that the market will be characterized by the following trends in the coming years:

1. Integrated solutions will exhibit their technological superiority

Currently, thin clients are used either as standalone PCs or VDIs (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Beyond performance, buyers now place significant emphasis on the vendor’s capabilities in providing integrated cloud solutions with the widespread application of VDI. In the current market environment, integrated cloud capabilities have become a crucial factor determining the fate of a vendor. Centerm currently holds the leading position in the domestic market. Its leadership has been built upon its cost advantage as well as its close collaboration with clients to develop customized solutions for them. Sangfor Technologies on the other hand, is a new contender in the market. Although Sangfor is not a traditional hardware supplier, it has managed to break into the thin client market and demonstrated strong business growth in 2015, thanks to its strength as a cloud solutions provider.

2. Interest in the education market will grow

Banks, manufacturing companies and call centers have long been big buyers of thin client devices, and their demand is expected to see mild growth in the coming years. Based on IDC’s observations, the education sector will become a point of interest for vendors as local governments in China ratchet up investment in cloud classrooms and e-libraries. Many vendors such as Centerm have already developed tailored solutions for cloud classrooms. IDC predicts that the education sector will purchase 150,000 units of thin client devices in 2015, up 50% from last year, a growth rate eclipsing that of any other market segment.

3. Mobile products will gain traction

Conventional thin clients are generally standalone PCs. However, as more and more people have to work on the road, demand for mobile devices and cloud-based tablets will rise year by year, especially from bank staff as well as duty officers at government departments.

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