Techaisle’s US SMB survey data shows that 44% of US small businesses are planning to purchase at least one PC in 2017. If all keep to their PC purchase plan, then US small businesses will likely purchase 11.1 million PCs in 2017. However, if the US economy falters and small businesses feel unexpected growth pressures then the number may fall to 7.1 million PCs. The most likely US small business PC purchase scenario for 2017 is 8.4 million units.
The plan to purchase penetration is massively up from 34% in 2015 when only 2.6 million PCs were purchased by small businesses. The 2016 actual PC purchase data is still being analyzed by Techaisle.
Survey data also shows that by the end of 2017, 63% of US small business workforce will be mobile, equating to 27 million employees. Increased mobility within small businesses requires PC devices that provide a better experience, improved productivity, enhanced security & easy manageability and today’s PCs based on Windows 10 and latest Intel processors provides the necessary impetus for a digital and mobile small business.
The same aggressive purchase plans cannot be said for either tablets or smartphones. Tablet purchase plans are tepid as compared to previous years showing that the euphoria of mobile devices has reached a point of saturation within US small businesses.
US small businesses within the professional business services industry vertical are likely to be the highest purchasers of PCs in the next one year followed by transportation, retail, and manufacturing. Professional business services segment has a mix of small businesses that have longer refresh cycles and do not adhere to any fixed refresh agenda. The segment is also on the path to adopting cloud for business growth, digital workplace, and improved productivity.
The PC refresh cycle has become longer than in previous years. Survey data shows that 21% of US small businesses do not have a PC replacement policy. Of the small businesses with a PC refresh plan, 42% have extended their PC replacements to 5 years or more and tend to replace only when they are either beyond repair or the cost of repair exceeds the purchase price of a new PC, impacts employee productivity, manageability and compromises security.
Techaisle’s research included a question asking respondents to identify the primary source used to acquire PCs. US small business buyers, who are often looking for a straightforward approach to these products, tend to rely on technology/electronic retailers, small local dealers/resellers/retailers as well as PC manufacturers. Nearly 1/3rd prefer to purchase from a technology/electronic retailer like Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics and 1/4th prefer to purchase directly from PC OEMs such as Dell, HP Inc., and Lenovo.