Pay now to save later on IT equipment

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Just about everyone I know that has owned an iPhone has had a cracked screen at some time or another. The same is true although (in my experience) to a lesser extent with other types of smartphone. Tablets aren’t immune to cracked screens either and even the humble laptop often takes one bashing too far and eventually fails.

The interesting question is whether it’s cheaper to simply accept that electronic devices will get broken and replace them on a regular basis, or if that’s false economy and investing in devices which will have a longer life span makes sense.

Panasonic argue that businesses could make total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of 15% over five years by equipping their mobile workforces with rugged notebooks, tablets and handheld devices. Panasonic’s newly launched TCO Calculator shows that savings of up to 15% could be achieved through reduced failure rates and extended use when Panasonic Toughbook and Toughpad devices are deployed.

“The challenge is in convincing IT decision makers to pay now, to save later. Due to the superior design and investment in protection, rugged devices often cost more than a traditional notebook or laptop but as the evidence quite clearly shows, the return on investment quickly pays-off – in year one for tablet and handheld devices and year two for notebooks.”
– Jan Kaempfer, General Manager for Marketing at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions

To fully understand the costs of notebook, tablet and handheld device damage to organisations, Panasonic commissioned IDC to research IT decision makers at 800 organisations across a broad range of vertical industries. They found that on average about 18% of a company’s notebooks require repair of some kind during a year. The majority of these repairs are due to accidental damage.

The repair numbers are slightly lower for tablets (16%) and handheld devices (14%), but they are still material. While 11% of notebooks are likely to fail in the first year and the likelihood of failure nearly doubles to 21% by year five. Year one tablet failures are 13% and year five failures 19%. Year one handheld failures are 14% and year five failures 17%.

The components most often damaged in the notebooks were the screen, followed by the keyboard and then the storage drive (HDD or SSD). For tablets, the most damaged component was the screen, followed by ports or connectors and then the outer chassis. For handhelds, the top component likely to be damaged were the screen, the battery, and the outer chassis.

Next time you’re replacing your laptop, tablet or hand held devices, consider how many of them will be damaged over a five year period. Would it be better to invest in rugged devices now (especially if they’re to be used in a warehouse or mobile environment) or are you willing to accept that you’ll have to replace a percentage of devices as they fail?

2 Responses

  1. Do they just break?

    I have never had an IPhone, but I have had several phones over the years and never had a screen break / crack on me.

    My laptops have never suffered any damage either.

    I would not say that I am the most careful of users, my phone has been dropped on several occasions.

    The average lifespan of any tablet / laptop / phone is probably nearer to 3 years than 5

  2. Just like humans, all technology is inherently doomed to fail and will eventually be consigned to the gruelling inevitability of the scrap heap.

    I recently switched to a Sim-Only tariff for my phone, however , and I am now saving around £40 p/m, so that’s a plus.

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