Thin client PC shipments in the EMEA region fell for the first time in three years during the first quarter of 2013, sliding 4.2% year-on-year to 406,138 units, according to figures released by market watcher IDC.

A total of 325,532 thin clients were shipped during the quarter in Western Europe, a 4% drop compared with the 12 month prior period.

Leading the pack in EMEA during the quarter were HP and Dell, which captured 32.6% and 25.5% market share respectively. Samsung was one of the 'most dynamic' vendors in the region, IDC says, increasing shipments by almost 50% during the quarter. Additionally, the market for all-in-one (AIO) thin clients increased by 2.9% during the quarter to capture 4% of the total.

Despite the first quarter fall, IDC predicts that the volume of thin client shipments will grow by 3% in 2013 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% through to 2017. IDC senior research analyst Oleg Sidorkin attributes this to demand for new, more expensive thin client models and the growing popularity of AIO thin clients.

Fading trend

Thin clients are computers with no internal or attached hard drives for data storage that rely on network resources to function. They use fewer components than PCs, are often cheaper and easier to upgrade and offer a potentially lower cost of ownership.

However, some view them as increasingly irrelevant as 'bring your own device' (BYOD) trends see businesses allowing employees to bring their own capable laptops, tablets and smartphones to work.