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Despite Pressure From Mobile Devices, POS Terminal Numbers Continue Strong Growth, According to New IHL Report

Much has been made about the replacement of traditional point-of-sale terminal devices by mobile phones and tablets, but the overall penetration of POS devices continued to expand 3.9% in North America and 4.6% around the globe in 2012, according to research firm IHL Group. Growth is expected to continue at 3.6% worldwide for 2013.

The company released today the latest results of its POS Vendor Shipments Database, showing growth in all four major worldwide regions (North America, Europe/Middle East Africa, Latin/South America, and Asia/Pacific). The Asia/Pacific region led all regions in terms of growth, but even the economic challenges of most of the EMEA region did not completely squash growth, which came in at over 2% year over year.

"The market continues to grow as POS technologies rapidly change in individual segments,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. "Despite challenges from mobile devices and e-commerce growth, new store concepts and greater penetration of PC-based POS continue to offset those challenges as the point-of-sale remains the center of the customer interaction."

"We are seeing the greatest changes occur not between the technologies but between the vendor composition and market share positions,” according to Buzek. “The marketplace is seeing upheaval with the continued gains of Hewlett Packard and Dell in POS, as well as IBM’s divestiture from POS technology in the sale of its Retail Store Systems division to Toshiba Global Commerce in 2012. Add to this another blockbuster merger between NCR and Retalix and many segments that were locked in for IBM are now more open than ever.”

The POS Vendor Shipments Database tracks the shipments and installed base of PC-based point-of-sale devices by top 25 vendors and 13 different retail segments worldwide. The data is available in total shipments by vendor and operating system, as well as processor-level sophistication of each device. The data is available annually or quarterly.

Other key findings of the research include the following:

  • The big winner in the POS growth is Microsoft, whose operating systems already run on over 87% of the POS terminals shipped.
  • HP is now the second largest supplier of POS Systems worldwide, rising from the #20 position just 10 years ago. Add to HP's share standard PCs purchased and repurposed by small businesses for POS and the company would have the #1 position.
  • The value of the North American POS Market topped $7.8 Billion for the first time in 2012
  • Brazil, Mexico, China, India and certain Middle Eastern countries are driving POS adoption at the fastest clips.

The POS Vendor Shipments Database and other research reports on the POS industry are available immediately from the company website,

About IHL Group

IHL Group is a global research and advisory firm headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, that provides market analysis and business consulting services for retailers and information technology companies that focus on the retail industry. For more information, see, call 615-591-2955 or e-mail

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