Smartphones and tablets growth exploding, especially in business: Gartner

1.2bn smart devices will be purchased in 2013, research firm says

IT managers already know that smartphones and tablets are being purchased in vast numbers by workers, and Gartner added credence to that trend today, reporting that 1.2 billion of the devices will be purchased in 2013.

"The consumerization trend has hit IT as an unstoppable force," Gartner said in a statement. In all, smartphones and tablets combined make up 70 per cent of all devices sold in 2012. The total is expected to reach 821 million by the end of the year.

Smartphones and tablets won't entirely replace PCs for most businesses, "but the ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way businesses look at their device strategies," said Carolina Milanesi, one of Gartner's smart device analysts.

Gartner also predicted that 66 per cent of mobile workers will own a smartphone in 2016. More than half of those smartphones -- 56 per cent -- will be Google's Android devices.

Android and Apple's iOS devices will be used in businesses side-by-side, and often instead of BlackBerry devices. Milanesi noted that businesses have moved in the last 12 months from resisting Apple products to accepting them for use in their organizations.

Tablet purchases by businesses will reach 13 million in 2012 and triple to 53 million in 2016, Gartner said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about consumerization of it in Computerworld's Consumerization of IT Topic Center.

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