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Panasonic promotes Toughbook in UK

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 14 July 2010

Panasonic claims that damage to laptops in the UK costs British businesses more than US$3.15 billion per annum
Panasonic claims that damage to laptops in the UK costs British businesses more than US$3.15 billion per annum

Panasonic has extrapolated some data to promote its Toughbook ruggedised notebook range in the UK market. Working with the numbercrunchers at IDC, Panasonic claims that damage to laptops in the UK costs British businesses more than US$3.15 billion per annum including repair bills, parts, productivity and data loss. This cost does not include effects to business continuity, lost business or customer dissatisfaction.

The UK research was based on a survey of 300 US companies by IDC. The impact for UK business has been extrapolated using IDC data on laptops sold to businesses in the UK between 2007 and 2009.

The research claims that there are more than 1.3 million business laptop breakages per year with the average repair and data replacement bill coming in at close to US$2,400. The research, commissioned by Panasonic Toughbook and undertaken by technology analyst group IDC, showed that 20% of laptops in business require repair each year with 14.2% of repairs coming from physical damage or accidents.

“With a 14.2% chance of physical breakage per year, and a US$2,400 repair and data replacement bill, IT directors should realise that every laptop is carrying a potential hidden cost of US$340 per year,” said Stephen Yeo, Panasonic Toughbook EMEA marketing director.

“This means that over a three-year life, a laptop has a hidden cost from breakage of US$1,020 and this could be considerably higher for workers in areas like field service or sales. With Panasonic Toughbooks cutting the risk of damage by over 80%, businesses can reduce this hidden cost by an average of US$816 per notebook over a three-year period,” he added.

In the survey, 72% of respondents with damaged notebooks reported that they suffered damaged keyboards, followed by 66% with damage to the display screen. Non-exposed parts most prone to damage included batteries and hard disk drives, both cited by more than 50% of respondents.

Human error and carelessness were responsible for the greatest sources of damage with 72% of respondents saying they dropped their laptops, 66% spilling liquid onto the devices and 55% reporting they fell off a desk or table. The departments most likely to damage their laptops were field services, followed by office and administrative support and sales.

63% of respondents reported lost productivity as a result of their laptop damage or failure, while more than a third reported loss of important company data or information (37%) or lost and delayed sales (34%).

“The use of laptops has become pervasive in business with more and more departments taking advantage of the flexibility and convenience they offer but little attention is being paid to the type of products being bought and the impact of their total cost of ownership on the business,” commented Yeo.

“Businesses should consider whether a ruggedised laptop is required by their staff because in many cases the higher initial purchase price is rapidly offset by the longer lifetime expectancy of the products and their much cheaper ongoing running costs,” Yeo concluded.

CE ANALYSIS: We’re not going to lie, but we’re not too keen on the way this particular research has been constructed and conveniently applied to the UK market - or any other national market for that matter. It looks like Panasonic and IDC have simply dropped the UK laptop sales figures into a US report. There is an underlying assumption that the data and trends collected from the 300 US companies are identical to the conditions and factors impacting UK business laptop users. In our opinion, this is a naive assumption.


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