By Claire West

Damaged laptops will cost British business £2.073 billion in repair and data replacement costs in 2010, research from IDC and Panasonic has predicted.

This cost does not include effects to business continuity, lost business or customer dissatisfaction. More than 14% of the 9.265m laptops sold to British businesses between 2007 and 2009 will suffer from damage or accidents this year... and with an average repair bill of £1576 to cover parts, lost productivity and data, the overall cost to British business will be a staggering £2.073 billion.

The research, commissioned by Panasonic Toughbook and undertaken by technology analyst group IDC, shows that 20% of laptops in business require repair each year with 14.2% of repairs coming from physical damage or accidents. This gives every laptop a hidden cost of £224 per year.

Human error and carelessness were responsible for the greatest sources of damage with 72%of respondents saying they dropped their laptops, 66% spilling liquid onto the devices and 55% reporting they fell off a desk or table.

David Daoud, IDC Research Director for Personal Computing said: 'Companies should look to procure notebooks that are built to withstand a variety of rigors, not just from dust, dirt, and extremes in temperature, but also from day-to-day bumps and spills'.

The research is based on a survey of 300 US companies by IDC and reported in the whitepaper “The Business Case for Ruggedized PCs”. The impact for UK business has been extrapolated using IDC data on laptops sold to businesses in the UK between 2007 and 2009.

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