Thin clients sales up 48 percent in 2003: IDC

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Australia's thin client sales grew 48 percent from 2002 to 2003 as local interest in reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) via such devices increased, latest figures from IDC said.

Michael Sager, PC hardware market analyst at IDC, said the market research firm's thin client forecast for 2004 to 2008 found that 42,012 such units were sold in 2003, up 48 percent from 2002.
 
"The acceptance of thin client devices in Australia is increasing, and end users are beginning to appreciate the TCO and inherent security benefits of thin clients," Sager said.

IDC expected the thin client market to keep growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4 percent to hit 106,117 units a year in 2008. Thin clients were thus predicted to grow faster than the overall PC market, he said.

"Efforts of local vendors to educate the Australian market on the benefits of thin client devices are paying off," Sager said.

New offerings, such as HP's Consolidated Client Infrastructure (CCI), were helping that growth along too, he added.

IDC's figures showed that Wyse was leading the field with 64.6 percent market share and HP coming second, with 14.8 percent. Sun grew fastest, approximately doubling its market share to 7.6 percent and third place.

Neoware came fourth, with 5.2 percent market share and Maxspeed was fifth with three percent, he said.

Rick Ferguson, regional director at Wyse, said thin clients were taking off in a "big way" as a PC alternative.

"IT purchasers are beginning to realise the benefits thin clients have over PCs, including lower purchase and maintenance costs as well as superior data security," he said.

Wyse experienced particularly strong growth in various Australian verticals, including government, health, education, transport and retail. "New customers for Wyse in 2003 include Mitsubishi, Tricare and Sealanes," Ferguson said.

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