The worldwide market for smart devices will reach 821 million in 2012, according to new Gartner data, soaring to 1.2 billion in 2013.
“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,” Gartner analyst said Carolina Milanesi said in a statement.
By 2016, Gartner says, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone – and 40% of the workforce will be mobile.
The research firm says business tablet purchases will reach 13 million this year, soaring to 53 million by 2016.
Gartner sees Android gaining share in the business world, projecting that 56% of smartphones purchased in 2016 in Europe and North America will be Android based, up from 34% in 2012.
“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. She added that Android and iOS-based devices will continue to operate side-by-side in businesses, “and in most cases instead of RIM.”Research In Motion, she says, “has a huge challenge ahead in regaining its key presence in the enterprise.”
Meanwhile, Gartner projects that Microsoft will be the #3 player in tablets behind Apple and Android by 2016, with more interest coming from businesses than consumers.