Hardware Top 100: The World’s Largest Hardware Companies (2009)

23 April 2010, by Balder Verberne

Leading Companies in the Hardware Industry

Rank Company Hardware
revenues (mln)
1 HP 85,393
2 Samsung 74,763
3 Foxconn 61,800
4 Nokia 46,412
5 Dell 44,877
6 Toshiba 44,242
7 Intel 36,320
8 LG Electronics 33,429
9 Cisco 32,840
10 Canon 29,299

The top hardware companies in the world are HP, Samsung and Foxconn. Never heard of Foxconn? They assemble computers and electronics equipment for other IT business; they produce the iPad for Apple, for instance, and PCs and laptops for HP. Contracted manufacturing (and related activities) spawned revenues of US$ 62 billion for Foxconn, bringing it to the third position in the Hardware Top 100, behind South Korean giant Samsung (US$ 75 billion), and HP (US$ 85 billion), the world’s largest IT supplier.

Relative size of the largest hardware companies

The hundred companies in the list have combined revenues of US$ 1,158 billion. The Top 3 take home US$ 222 billion or 19% of all the revenues of the Hardware Top 100. The whole list is filled with billion-dollar companies; the 100st position in the list is occupied by Gigabyte technologies, a popular Taiwanese maker of motherboards that counts Google among its clients. With revenues of almost US$ 1.5 billion, Gigabyte is a large company; it’s the towering size of HP that makes it look small.

Hardware industry growth

The Top 100 hardware companies grew their revenues a modest 3.1% on average, when compared to the previous year. Many financial analysts describe the hardware sector as cyclical, assuming that hardware spend declines quickly when the economy is in a slump, as it was in the last two years. The Top 100 growth figure is not in line with that assumption. As hardware companies tend to choose organic growth over acquisitive growth, the positive revenue growth figure can not be explained from acquisitions. It seems as if the ever-increasing pervasiveness of technology in our lives, and the resulting positive momentum for the technology industry make it capable of weathering a storm unscathed.

Hardware companies: country segmentation

Country Companies
United States 39
Japan 20
Taiwan 16
China 7
South Korea 3
Rest 15

Company brands

Some of the companies in the Hardware Top 100 are world-renowned brands, such as mobile phone maker Nokia (4th position) and chip maker Intel (6th position). Others sell primarily business-to-business, like Cisco (9th position) and Quanta computer (12th position), and hence are much less known to the public. Some companies have a strong presence in a select number of markets, but are much less prominent in the rest of the world; NEC, for instance, is a 20 billion dollar company, but it is very focused on Japan, it’s home market. The company is not very well known overseas, while countryman Canon (US$ 29 billion) is known all over the globe for it’s printers and cameras.

Leading countries

Just like the Software Top 100 and the Services Top 100, the United States is the leading country of origin for the Hardware Top 100. 39 companies are headquartered in the US; 20 are headquartered in Japan. Cheap manufacturing locations Taiwan, China and South-Korea take up the next spots (see table).

Fastest growing hardware companies

The fastest growing hardware company in the list is Nintendo, the producer of the blockbuster Wii game console, that grew by 140% compared to the previous year. RIM, the blackberry maker, and Wistron, a contract manufacturer, grew by an impressive 92% and 48% respectively.

The full list of largest hardware companies in the world (2009 edition) can be found here. The 2010 edition of the list can be found here. The Hardware Top 100 is a publication of the Top 100 Research Foundation. The list was made according to a methodology that can be found here.