Companies in this industry manufacture computers, such as mainframes, servers, personal computers (PCs), workstations, and mobile PCs (laptops, netbooks, and tablets), as well as computer peripheral equipment, including storage devices, terminals, and input/output devices such as printers, monitors, and keyboards. Major US companies include Apple, Dell, HP, and IBM, all based in the US, along with Foxconn and Quanta (both of Taiwan); Hitachi and Toshiba (Japan); and Lenovo (China).
Annual worldwide PC shipments, including desktop PCs and laptops (but not tablets), exceed 300 million units, according to Gartner. The vast majority of the world's personal computers are produced in Asia by contract manufacturers.
The US computer manufacturing industry includes about 1,100 companies with combined annual revenue of about $30 billion.
Demand is tied to consumer and business income. The profitability of individual computer companies depends on purchasing and production efficiencies, and on technological expertise. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and production. Small companies can compete successfully by specializing in certain products or by developing superior technology. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies generate about 80% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
The industry's three major product categories are computers (PCs, servers, mainframes), storage devices (optical and hard disk drives, tape storage), and peripheral equipment (ATMs, PC peripherals, point-of-sale devices), each of which accounts for about a third of US industry revenue.
Companies typically assemble PCs from components bought from other manufacturers. Key components...