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By 8 November 2012 | Categories: news

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After looking at mobile services trends last month, market research firm Gartner gets back to analysing the mobile device market. According to the analytics company, a whopping 821 million smart devices (smartphones and tablets) will be purchased worldwide this year. The firm added that device sales will surpass the billion mark (1.2 billion) next year.

Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner stated that although smartphones and tablets may not entirely replace PCs for most businesses, these smart devices are having a profound effect upon firms’ device strategies as a result of the advent of the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon.

Android to take over enterprise sector as it currently dominates consumer space

Gartner estimates that over half (56%) of smartphones purchased by businesses in the US and Europe will be Android-powered by 2016. This is up from 34% during 2012 and virtually no business penetration within 2010. The increasing penetration of Android in the enterprise sector poses challenges for the IT department, as firms need to ensure that security and manageability remain top priorities.

According to Gartner, Android and iOS-based devices will continue to grow their market share within the enterprise space in most cases instead of BlackBerry maker RIM. The firm believes that RIM is facing an enormous challenge in regaining its key presence in the corporate sector, as companies are looking for multi-device strategies and a broad application portfolio.

Gartner asserts that Windows 8 will assume the number three position in the corporate tablet market behind Apple and Android by 2016. Tablets and convertibles will be the way into businesses for Windows 8, with Gartner estimating that its share of the enterprise sector will reach 39% during 2016.

“In 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40% of the workforce will be mobile,” Milanesi said. Tablets will be the key accelerator to mobility. Gartner estimates that in 2012 purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 13 million units and will more than triple by 2016, to reach 53 million units.

She added: “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.”

In related news, market research company IDC recently analysed the global tablet market’s performance during Q3 2012.

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