The computer manufacturing industry in the US consists of companies that design, develop, and manufacture desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, servers, and other computer hardware and peripherals. Some of the major players in the industry include Dell, Apple, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and IBM.
The US computer manufacturing industry generates over $100 billion in annual revenue and employs over 150,000 people, according to IBISWorld. Computer manufacturing has shifted overseas in recent decades, with lower-cost contract manufacturers in Asia now producing devices designed by US firms. However, there are still significant computer manufacturing operations within the US, often focused on higher-end and customized products.
Some of the biggest computer manufacturers in the US include Dell, HP Inc., Apple, and Lenovo.
Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas and was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell. It employs over 165,000 people worldwide (Electronics and You). Dell is known for manufacturing desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and other computer accessories.
HP Inc. has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California and was founded in 1939. It has over 53,000 employees (NextPCB). HP manufactures desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and other computer peripherals.
Apple’s headquarters is in Cupertino, California. Founded in 1976, it now employs approximately 154,000 people worldwide (Electronics and You). Apple is best known for its Mac desktop and laptop computers, iPads, iPhones, and other consumer electronics.
Lenovo was founded in 1984 in Beijing, China and now employs over 63,000 people. It acquired IBM’s PC division in 2005 to enter the US market (NextPCB). Lenovo manufactures desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and computer accessories.
The desktop computer market in the US is dominated by a few major brands. According to Canalys, the top vendors in Q2 2022 were HP with 25.8% market share, Dell with 22.2%, Apple with 13.6%, and Lenovo with 10.5%. HP and Dell have long held the top spots in the US desktop market thanks to their wide range of business and consumer models.
In general, desktop sales have been declining in recent years as laptops become more powerful and tablets/smartphones meet more basic computing needs. However the pandemic led to increased remote work and demand for desktops at home offices. Canalys reports a 6% year-over-year decline in US desktop shipments in Q2 2022, an improvement from steeper drops in prior quarters. Going forward, desktops may remain relevant for activities like gaming, creative work, office use, and other situations where larger screens or computing power is beneficial.
The laptop market in the United States is dominated by a handful of major brands. According to Statista, the top laptop brands by U.S. market share in 2023 are projected to be:
- HP – 27%
- Dell – 24%
- Apple – 13%
- Lenovo – 11%
- Acer – 11%
Overall, the U.S. laptop market has seen steady growth in recent years. According to Statista’s market forecast, the U.S. laptop market is projected to grow by 2.14% between 2024-2028, reaching $22.7 billion in sales by 2028. Key trends driving growth include remote work/learning needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increasing consumer demand for premium laptops and ultrabooks.
The tablet market in the US is dominated by Apple, with its iPad lineup capturing over 50% market share in 2023 according to StatCounter (StatCounter, 2023). Samsung is a distant second, with around 20-30% market share depending on the quarter. Other players like Amazon, Microsoft, and Lenovo make up the remainder of the market.
Overall tablet sales have declined in recent years as the market has matured. However, Apple continues to perform well with the iPad, regularly updating it with new features and models. The latest iPad Pro models with M2 chips have received positive reviews, showcasing Apple’s technical lead in tablets (BankMyCell, 2024). Android tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S series are positioned as productivity devices to compete with the iPad Pro. But Apple’s strong ecosystem of apps and accessories as well as brand loyalty among users has allowed it to maintain its dominant position.
According to data from Counterpoint Research, the US smartphone market is dominated by the top 3 brands of Apple, Samsung, and LG, which together control 78% of smartphone shipments in the US as of Q3 2022. Apple has the largest market share at over 50%, with the iPhone being the most popular smartphone model.
The US smartphone market has been declining in recent years. Total smartphone shipments in the US dropped by 10% year-over-year in Q3 2022. This decline is attributed to economic uncertainties causing consumers to reduce discretionary purchases, longer refresh cycles as new models offer fewer innovative features, and market saturation as most people already own smartphones.
Looking at trends, the average selling price (ASP) for smartphones has been steadily increasing, reaching $781 in Q3 2022. This is driven by higher prices for premium phones like the iPhone 14 Pro series. There has also been growth in foldable/flip phones by Samsung, though they still account for a small portion of the overall market. 5G adoption continues to increase but still has room to grow, currently making up over half of shipments in Q3 2022.
Gaming PCs are a major segment within the computer manufacturing industry in the US. The global gaming PC market size was valued at USD 50.23 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a 12.9% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2030, reaching USD 154.80 billion by 2030 (Grand View Research). Key players in the US gaming PC market include Dell, HP, Corsair, Razer, and more. Gaming PCs offer high performance specs optimized for gaming, such as powerful GPUs, advanced cooling, and customizable RGB lighting.
Workstations are also an important product category, providing high-end desktops optimized for engineering, design, animation, video editing, and other demanding professional workflows. Major workstation manufacturers in the US include HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Apple. Workstations feature powerful CPUs and GPUs, ECC memory, and ISV certifications for stability and compatibility with professional software.
On the enterprise side, servers and data center infrastructure are a massive market for OEMs like Dell, HPE, and Lenovo. US demand for servers and data center hardware continues to grow exponentially with the expansion of cloud computing, big data analytics, and AI. Key innovations include hyperconverged infrastructure, software-defined storage, and GPU acceleration for AI workloads.
Manufacturing and Supply Chain
The majority of computer manufacturing has moved overseas, with China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil being major hubs for production and assembly. However, there are still some domestic manufacturing facilities in the United States.
Dell has production facilities in Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Massachusetts where they assemble desktop and laptop computers (History Computer, 2022). HP also has some domestic production, including printer manufacturing in California. Apple produces the Mac Pro desktop computer in Texas using components from various global suppliers (Segan, 2022).
Smaller manufacturers like Falcon Northwest in Oregon and Origin PC in Florida offer high-end, customized gaming PCs built in the USA. Equus Computer Systems has production facilities in Illinois and California where they assemble desktop workstations and servers using globally-sourced parts.
While final assembly and customization occurs domestically for some brands, most internal components like processors, memory, hard drives, and motherboards are still imported from Asia. Very few parts are produced entirely in the USA due to labor costs and the complexity of the global supply chain.
The computer manufacturing industry in the US has faced declining revenues and employment in recent years. According to IBISWorld, the market size has shrunk by 3.6% annually between 2018-2023. This downward trend is expected to continue with a forecasted decline to $101 billion by 2029 (IBISWorld).
The industry faces threats such as increasing competition from low-cost overseas manufacturers, short product life cycles requiring constant innovation, and vulnerability to economic downturns. However, opportunities exist in high-growth segments like tablets, smartphones, and emerging technologies. The major players like HP and Dell have the advantage of strong brands, but face challenges from disruptive startups.
A SWOT analysis shows the industry has strengths in its skilled engineering workforce and high barriers to entry due to capital requirements. Weaknesses include dependence on component suppliers and lack of pricing power. Opportunities lie in cloud computing, AR/VR, and renewable energy systems. Threats include hacker attacks, trade wars affecting supply chains, and scalability issues hindering startups.
Overall, the outlook depends on innovation and adaptation. Companies must focus on customization, emerging tech integration, operational efficiency, and strong partnerships across the supply chain. Consolidation through M&As may continue as firms seek economies of scale. Sustainability and social responsibility will also grow in importance for long-term success.
The computer manufacturing industry in the US is expected to see moderate growth in the coming years. According to IBISWorld, industry revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 1.6% from 2023-2028, reaching $10.3 billion by 2028. Key trends impacting future growth include:
Emerging technologies like AI, 5G, and IoT are creating demand for new types of computing devices and infrastructure. This presents opportunities for manufacturers to develop innovative products and solutions. However, it also requires continued investments in R&D and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
Growth in cloud computing and demand for high-performance data centers is driving server manufacturing. Hyperscale data centers are especially important customers for server OEMs.
While desktop and laptop sales have matured, demand for tablets and smartphones continues to rise. Manufacturers must adapt their product portfolios and operations to capitalize on these market shifts.
Globalization brings opportunities to reach new customers worldwide but also intense competition from Asian manufacturers. Operational efficiency, quality, and responsive supply chains are key differentiators.
Sustainability initiatives around energy efficiency, materials innovation, and waste reduction are becoming priorities. This requires changes across product design, component sourcing, and manufacturing processes.
Ongoing shortages of chips, components, and raw materials present challenges to production and margins. Building resilient, diversified supply chains is critical to mitigate this risk.
Overall, strategic technology investments, customer-centric product development, and lean, flexible manufacturing will be vital to success in the evolving US computer manufacturing industry.