The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) thin client market faced its third consecutive quarter of negative growth in Q2 2015, reaching the lowest volume in five years.
Shipments contracted 17,7% year-on-year to 385 000 units, according to the EMEA Quarterly Enterprise Client Device Tracker published by global IT market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
Interestingly, the decline in the Western European thin client market was stronger than during the financial crisis in 2009, dropping 19,2% in Q2 2015 from the same period in the previous year. Despite low oil prices, the fragile economic growth in the euro zone was not able to provide sufficient additional incentive for IT hardware upgrades or new purchases.
“A severe demand contraction in Western Europe, exacerbated by almost one year of continuous euro depreciation against the US dollar, hurt thin client imports and delayed market recovery,” says Oleg Sidorkin, senior research analyst at IDC. “As euro rates levelled out after a new valley in Q2 2015, we expect to see single-digit growth in Western Europe in the last quarter of 2015.”
The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) market will decline further by the end of 2015. Russia still accounts for about 50% of CEE shipments, and, therefore, any pronounced changes in the Russian economy affect the regional market performance. In August 2015, the Russian rouble tumbled to the lowest rates seen against the dollar since the beginning of 2015. The exchange rate volatility creates additional risks for IT importers and deepens the economic trough. The current forecast for the next three quarters in the CEE market is negative, and recovery is not expected to begin earlier than in Q2 2016.
Individual projects fuelled thin-client market growth in Q2 2015 in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), the only EMEA region to resist the overall negative trend. Nevertheless, the MEA market will struggle to maintain the year-on-year growth by the end of 2015, given the record-high shipments in Q3 2014.