821m smart devices will be purchased worldwide in 2012, with sales rising to 1.2bn in 2013, Gartner told its Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Barcelona.
It estimates that 13m tablets will be purchased by businesses in 2013, a figure that will more than triple by 2016, to 53m units. By then, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 per cent in total will be mobile.
56 per cent of smartphones purchased by businesses in North America and Europe will be Android devices in 2016, up from 34 per cent in 2012 and virtually no penetration two years ago.
“Today the wide range of brands and price points that the Android ecosystem is offering is winning over users,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
“While Apple remains the heartbeat by which the market moves, Google has rapidly become its archrival. In just 12 months businesses have moved from resisting Apple to accepting its devices in the organization.
“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.”
Gartner predicts that in the business tablet market, Windows 8 will take third place by 2016. It says that Windows tablets and ‘ultramobiles’ will be used by 39 per cent of businesses. But this is no doubt at the expense of former favourite RIM.
“As businesses are looking for a multi-device strategy and a rich application portfolio it is clear that RIM has a huge challenge ahead in regaining its key presence in the enterprise,” she added.