Worldwide POS Market Grew 6.9% in 2010, According to New Research from IHL Group

However, rising fuel prices pose threat to retail spending and POS growth; mobile devices will impact traditional POS sales

FRANKLIN, Tenn.--()--After several years of struggling, the worldwide PC-Based Point-of-Sale (POS) market grew a solid 6.9% in 2010, according to new research from IHL Group, a global research and advisory firm.

Shipments grew in all four major worldwide regions (North America, Europe/Middle East Africa, Latin/South America, and Asia/Pacific). Strong double-digit growth in the Asia/Pacific region was driven by new shipments in China, India, Korea, and Indonesia, according to the research.

"It was a strong year overall, but several threats appear on the horizon for this market,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. "New mobile devices, inspired by the Apple iPad price point of $500, are a significant threat to the traditional POS market, particularly for specialty stores and hospitality establishments. Our recent research studies found that upwards of 50% of specialty retailers are looking to deploy handheld POS devices to replace many of their standard POS systems.”

“In addition, increasing oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East will sap consumer’s wallets, which will challenge retail sales in other segments beyond fuel,” added Buzek. “Every penny of sustained increase in fuel prices takes $1.6 billion annually out of the pockets of consumers in the U.S. alone. If we go to a sustained $4.00 a gallon price point for a year, that is over $100 billion lost from the retail economy within the next year. That’s the equivalent of Macy’s, Staples, McDonald’s, Publix, and Pizza Hut being removed from the U.S. economy. Worldwide, the impact could be far greater, all putting a drag on retail and ultimately POS spending.”

Other key findings of the research include the following:

  • The shipshare of POS units with embedded operating systems from Microsoft increased to 34.1% worldwide.
  • Overall, 87.4% of POS Terminals shipped were on DOS or Microsoft Windows platforms.
  • The shipshare of Linux terminals dropped from 10.1% in 2009 to 8.4% in 2010 worldwide but remains a popular choice in China, Russia, and several other countries around the world.

IHL's 2011 North American Retail POS Terminal Study reviews the shipments and installed base of POS terminals sold into retailers in North America. The study includes market shipment and installed base figures, market value, situation analysis for 10 retail market segments, overall trends affecting the POS market, and forecasts through 2013.

The IHL Worldwide POS Vendor Database reviews shipments and installed base of terminals by 13 different market segments in retail and hospitality by individual vendors such as IBM, HP, NCR, Dell, Fujitsu, Wincor-Nixdorf and many others. It includes historical information per vendor as well as forecast estimates by quarter.

Both are available for purchase at Further studies for other regions will be released in the next 3 weeks.

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


Ketner Group
Jeff Ketner, 512-794-8876

Release Summary

New research study from IHL Group says that retail POS terminal sales increased 6.9% worldwide in 2010; however, mobile POS devices will increasingly displace traditional POS systems.


Ketner Group
Jeff Ketner, 512-794-8876