Hardware Top 100: The World’s Largest Hardware Companies - 2010 Edition

27 October 2010, by Michel van Kooten and Balder Verberne


Position Company
1 (2) Samsung
2 (1) HP
3 (3) Foxconn
4 (8) LG Electronics
5 (4) Nokia
6 (6) Toshiba
7 (5) Dell
8 (7) Intel
9 (20) Apple
10 (9) Cisco

The list of the world's largest hardware companies changed quite a bit compared to last year. Samsung became the largest hardware company in the world, pushing HP to second position in the list. The recession hit some hardware companies hard; Motorola and Hitachi lost close to 40% of their hardware revenues. Combined revenues of the top 100 declined almost 8% to US$ 1,067 billion. Despite the adverse economy, some companies like Samsung, Apple and RIM managed to thrive and strengened their competitive positions.

Samsung's hardware revenues grew 4%, while HP was down 14% compared to last year. As a result, Samsung took over the first position on the list. LG Electronics also had very strong results (hardware revenues +26%), moving up 4 places to 4th position.

Apple did tremendously well; the company jumped up from position 20 last year into the top 10 because of strong sales of the iPhone.


Country Companies
United States 40
Japan 21
Taiwan 18
China 7
South Korea 3
Other 11


The United States lead the hardware industry, 40 of the top 100 companies are headquartered in the US. All other countries with significant hardware industries are Asian.

The three South Korean companies in the top 100 performed remarkably well this year. The country has a tradition of extremely large conglomerates, chaebols, of which Samsung (1) and LG (4) have prominent places in the top 100. Memory chip maker Hynix, formerly known as Hyundai Electonics, is one of the fastest growing companies in the list. Together, they are evidence of South Korea's attractive economic conditions for computer hardware manufacturers.

Fast growth


Company Growth
Apple 69%
Compal Electronics 53%
ZTE 36%
RIM 33%
Brocade 31%
Hynix 26%
Wistron 26%
LG Electronics 26%
Elpida Memory 22%
Huawei 19%
Less than 1/3 of the companies had higher revenues than last year. Historically, smaller companies grow faster than large companies, at least percentage-wise. This year however, many of the fastest growing companies are from upper half of the Hardware Top 100.
Apple stands out with stellar financial results. RIM also showed continued revenue growth (+33%) with sales of smartphones, after almost doubling revenues last year.


Based upon our hardware industry analysis, we expect the following developments for the coming years:
  • The number of Asian hardware companies in the Hardware Top 100 will increase further; especially the number of companies from China and South Korea.
  • Apple will continue its success and move up a few positions more on the list, driven by the iPad introduction
  • Samsung, RIM, Brocade and Huawei are likely to increase revenues again, given their strong market positions and positive momentum in recent years
  • As the economy recovers, most hardware companies will return to revenue growth
  • Average revenue growth will go up from -8% to +5% (estimate)
Overall, we expect the computer- and communications hardware industry will continue to grow faster than the world economy, at a double rate. Investors beware: recessions will hit at double impact also, as we have seen last year.

More information

Click here for the full 2010 edtion of the list of largest hardware companies.