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Business tablet adoption to grow 3X by 2016 but Windows 8 will still lag behind iOS and Android: report

by Doug Drinkwater

November 6 2012

Market research firm Gartner claims that businesses are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets, but thinks that Windows 8 has some way to go before it will catch up with iOS or Android.

The firm's latest data reveals that there will be 821 million ‘smart’ devices worldwide in 2012, with this forecast to jump over a billion in 2013, and indicates that these smart devices (consisting of smartphones and tablets) will account for 70% of all business purchases in 2012.

However, if that figure gives the impression that PCs are being dropped by businesses, Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi acted quickly to dispel such a view.

“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," said Milanesi.

The analyst added that 40% of the workforce will be mobile by 2016, and said that business purchases of tablets will more than triple from 13 million units in 2012 to 53 million by 2016.

Some could assume that this growth would be down in part to the introduction of Windows 8, but Gartner reiterates its point from earlier this year that the new OS will be a slow burner in regard to tablets in business.

Indeed, the firm believes that iOS and Android will continue their business presence ‘side-by-side’, with this growth coming at the expense of RIM, and expects Windows 8 to make its way to number three with a market share of 39% by 2016.

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