All IDCA News

By Loading

12 Jan 2023

Share on social media:

Humble Laptops Are Only 3% of IT - But Still Critical

Time was when laptop computers were the leading edge of technology and the most exciting part of the PC business. New designs and breakthroughs leapfrogged one another several times a year, and having a cool, powerful laptop was a badge of honor in the office and a perceived security risk at the airport.

Today, more than 200 million laptops are shipped each year, but represent only about 3% of total enterprise IT spending, an annual figure projected at almost $3 trillion by Gartner. Business laptops have become a commodity, with about 80% of the market controlled by Lenova, HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus. Perhaps laptop innovation is still seen as cool, but they are a commodity nevertheless.

That 3% also remains critical to enterprise IT. I imagine laptops as similar to the automotive business, which despite its enormous, foundational importance, represents only 3% of the US economy, according to the US Departnment of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Viva laptops!

Laptops are also primary surface attacks for viruses, ransomeware, and all manner of cybercrime by hoodlums, organized gangs, and maleficent state actors. They are not viewed as security risks by the TSA anymore, but are real threats to enterprise IT. The percentage of time CISOs and their teams spend worrying about laptops and addressing the issues affecting them far exceeds 3%, perhaps by a magnitude.

My thinking about laptops was prompted by a new report from IDC that outlines a boom in laptop sales during the early stages of the covid pandemic (prompted by the massive work-from-home migration), to the inevitable bust in 2022, to modest, hopeful projections for 2023.

Laptop sales dropped a substantial 28.1% in Q42022 year-on-year, but is expected to return to growth mode late this year and into 2024, according to the report.

IDC's general figures area able to provide an accurate picture for the highly developed markets of North America and the EU, however. Outside of those two areas, laptops can be scarce, and their functionality often superseded by tablets and phones.

Yet a healthy digital infrastructure of any nation needs those laptops in offices, in homes, and in schools to further socioeconomic development and give the billions of people in the developing world a realistic chance of improved lives. Laptops in this case represent far more than 3% of the challenge.

Photo from

Follow us on social media: