November 9, 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,” says Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi in a statement.
Two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a Smartphone by 2016, Milanesi said, adding 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile with tablets being the key accelerator.
Gartner estimates business purchases of tablets this year will hit 13 million units — and that figure will more than triple by 2016, to reach 53 million units.
Gartner is also predicting Android-powered Smartphones will make up 56 percent of business purchases in North America and Europe in 2016, up from 34 percent in 2012 and virtually nothing in 2010.
“Today the wide range of brands and price points that the Android ecosystem is offering is winning over users,” said Milanesi. “While Apple remains the heartbeat by which the market moves, Google has rapidly become its archrival.”
Android and iOS-based devices will continue to dominate the business market, largely excluding Research In Motion (RIM). RIM “has a huge challenge ahead in regaining its key presence in the enterprise,” Milanesi said.
Gartner forecasts Microsoft will be the No. 3 provider of tablets behind Apple and Android by 2016, “with more interest coming from businesses than consumers.”