According to the study, ‘IT Hardware Global Industry Guide 2018-2022’, the network infrastructure market in huge. It encompasses various devices ranging from routers, hubs, to switches, ISDN adapters to name a few. Hubs are the simplest form of network infrastructure which is portrayed by its lowest cost. Switches are similar to hubs in physical appearance however; the internal technology involved is quite different and better as compared to hubs. Ethernet switches also known as LAN (Local Area Network) are an integral part of any network. These can be broadly classified and modular and fixed switches. Module switches enable users to add expansion modules as needed into switches. These types of switches provide much needed flexibility but are expensive as compared to its fixed switches. Fixed switches are not expandable and have a fixed number of ports. This category can be divided into managed, unmanaged and fully managed.
Global demand for storage devices, networking devices, tablets and smart phones has been increasing for the past few years. However, this increasing demand has been offset by slowing computer hardware sales overall. Personal computers represent a huge portion of the industry in terms of employment and technical knowhow. The introduction of tablet has dramatically changed the landscape for devices as consumers increasingly prefer tablets for notebooks and PCs. PCs sales growth in the current market is not able to keep up with the growth sales of smart phones and tablets because of device prices, the convenience these devices offer. There have been many inventions even within the personal computers space. Initially laptops came in the personal computer space that redefined market dynamics followed by ultrabooks with their lighter weight and better performance are far superior to traditional laptops. And now, PC tablet hybrids have emerged as a new segment picking up pace.
The shift to tablets will definitely put pressure on laptop and PC sales; however, the overall computer hardware industry is expected to benefit from the growth in tablets. Moreover, the increase in mobile computing devices stimulates data traffic handled by servers. The biggest driver for this industry is the mobility. The devices that offer greater mobility will eventually take over device that do not. For instance, global smart phones and tablets have pick up significant share in the market due to greater mobility these devices offer in comparison to laptops and PCs. Another growth driver for this industry is emerging markets. Developed countries have largest demand in terms of volume however growth has been highest in emerging markets of developing economies.
Some of the biggest global players in IT hardware industry are Apple Inc., IBM, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Foxconn technology group and HP Inc. Quanta Computer and Compel. These companies control major part of the global IT hardware market. However, with the rising purchasing power, emerging markets, technological developments, the global IT industry is expected to boom in the coming years. However in terms of devices demand, majority might shift from laptops or PCs to smart phones or hybrid tablets or some new device that disrupts the entire market space.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications