5 min Devices

HP launches refurbishment program for business PCs

HP launches refurbishment program for business PCs

The offering is part of a new suite called Renew Solutions, designed to further extend the life of devices.

The notion that we should be expanding the life of the devices we use every day is gaining traction. It’s apparent in various ways, whether it’s Vodafone’s adverts urging people not to immediately buy a new smartphone if something happens to it, or the seven-year support that Google promises with the new Pixel 8. In the business market, the lifecycle of the PC fleet has so far been a contractually defined for the most part. That is to say: it’s more or less the accepted norm that companies renew their fleet once every x number of years. The reasoning is that by that time, the hardware is outdated to the point that, from a business perspective, it’s beneficial to make a new investment.

HP has today unveiled a new initiative to change this status quo. The company is starting a refurbishment program as part of a new suite of services that HP is setting up, which will be called Renew Solutions. That, in turn, is set to then be part of the Workforce Solutions business unit created last year.

It’s making this announcement during HP Imagine 2023. During this event, HP will show all journalists and analysts in attendance what it has been working on across its portfolio and what new products, services and software solutions are coming up. From our perspective, the updates within the Workforce Solutions business unit are obviously the most interesting. This new program is one of those updates.

HP PC refurbishment program isn’t new

In offering the refurbishment program commercially, HP hasn’t reinvented the wheel. In fact, it has been running it internally for years. Through this program, some 20,000 devices a year find a new owner among the company’s employees. The same thing is now going to be possible for companies using HP PCs.

This move may not be hugely exciting from a technical standpoint. For HP as a company, however, it is a big step. After all, this has a significant impact on how it does business. After all, HP was always one of the vendors that could compete for a new contract every x number of years. By now allowing organizations to use their hardware for longer than that predetermined number of years, the company is missing out on recurring income. In addition, it will also have to invest in sufficient capacity to perform this refurbishing.

Of course, there will also be a fee for refurbishing the PCs, but it will never be as high as the sales of a new product brings in. On the other hand, HP also has fewer costs in developing new products this way, as there is additional profit to be made with selling the refurbished machines. How the exact math works out is difficult for us to determine. The bottom line: it will not be hugely unfavourable for HP. Sustainability in itself is good, but it should not be at the expense of your business. That in itself makes sense.

How does the HP PC refurbishment program work?

To qualify for the program, organizations must initially have devices that are certified to be refurbished. That suggests that not all of HP’s portfolio will be covered by this new initiative. It’s important to check this in advance if companies want to join this program. Furthermore, based on what we know now, it seems to mainly involve upgrading memory and storage as the biggest components. There’s no doubt that smaller repairs and the like will also be considered, but screwing a new CPU into an existing laptop is not one of them. That’s also virtually impossible at the moment, so that’s not surprising.

The program starts with laptops/notebooks. HP expresses the intention that it will eventually extend it to printers and collaboration hardware. The refurbishment program is starting in France this year and will expand to other regions in 2024.

Ultimately, as far as we are concerned, this move by HP sends a positive message to the overall market. As one of the leaders in the PC business, the company will have to lead by example. In addition, it is also clear that many laptops are written off while they’re still viable hardware to run. This may not be the case within the department of an organization where they were first deployed, but perhaps they can find a second life elsewhere inside said company. Furthermore, we are particularly curious to know whether these kinds of initiatives will cause laptops (and other devices) to be developed substantially differently. Perhaps its manufacturers will start to keep in mind that one day, these machines will be part of a refurbishment program.

Also read: HP and Flex IT opt for refurbished, hope to “increase trust”