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Smart Device Biz Takeover by 2016

Information technology such as smartphones and tablets are posed to be an “unstoppable force,” as purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 53 million units by 2016 – almost triple the 13 million units in 2012, according to research firm Gartner.

“In 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. Tablets will be the key accelerator to mobility, as stated in the company release.

Gartner analysts discussed the future of smart devices and management at their Garner Symposium/ITxpo 2012.

According to Gartner analysts, nearly 821 million tablets and smartphones are expected to be purchased worldwide in 2012. Smart devices are said to account for 70 percent of total devices sold in 2012.

“For most businesses, smartphones and tablets will not entirely replace PCs, but the ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way businesses look at their device strategies and the way consumers embrace devices,” Milanesi said.

As enterprises continue to allow and purchase smart devices, Milanesi stressed the importance of BYOD becoming a part of an organization’s devices policy.

“In just 12 months, businesses have moved from resisting Apple to accepting its devices in the organization,” Milanesi said, adding, “CIOs who balance workers’ passion for Apple with the needs of IT will reap surprising benefits and prepare the business for entry of other consumer-market vendor technologies, as this is just the beginning.”

In the report, Gartner also noted the most popular brands today and which will be in the future. According to Gartner, of the smartphones purchased by businesses in North American and Europe in 2016, 56 percent of them will be Android devices.

“Today the wide range of brands and price points that the Android ecosystem is offering is winning over users. While Apple remains the heartbeat by which the market moves, Google has rapidly become its archrival,” Milanesi said.

Milanesi’s assessment of Android versus Apple is similar to that of research firm IDC, which recently released a report noting Google’s Android drastic popularity amongst consumers.

According to IDC, of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, 75 percent of them had the Google Android operating system.

Gartner estimates that by 2016, Windows 8 will be in the third position (39 percent) of the tablet market behind Apple and Android. RIM, however, doesn’t have quite as bright of a future ahead of it. According to Milanesi, “As businesses are looking for a multi-device strategy and rich application portfolio, it is clear that RIM has a huge challenge ahead in regaining its key presence in the enterprise.”

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