Gartner: Smart Phones, Tablets Take Over the World in 2012

The momentum may behind be Android tablets in the next quarter, but managed services providers (MSPs) may want to shift their focus to a prediction that all smart devices will account for 70 percent of total devices sold in 2012, according a recent Gartner, Inc. report. The study found that 821 million smartphones and tablets will be purchased worldwide in 2012 and pass the billion mark in 2013. What does this mean for mobile device management (MDM)? We analyze.

The following are three key points that MSPs should take away from the Gartner report:

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend will expand -- Gartner estimates that by 2016, purchases of tablets by businesses will reach 53 million units. With more devices being used in the workplace (especially employee-owned devices), businesses will need to manage those devices in the field, hiring an MSP to implement MDM solutions is more than likely.

Android is a force to be reckoned with -- As stated earlier, Android tablets are growing, but Gartner adds that 56 percent of smartphones purchased by businesses in North America and Europe will be Android devices in 2016. This estimate is up from 34 percent in 2012 after virtually no penetration in 2010. Gartner also reports, however, that Android in the enterprise will continue to pose challenges for the IT department and the CIO who must ensure that security and manageability remain a priority. Providers of mobile device management are highly focused on this trend. For instance, LabTech CEO Matt Nachtrab pointed out last week with regards to Labtech: "The theme we are going with is that MDM allows you to secure and service, not spy."

Consumer preferences are shaping the focus of IT departments -- Gartner reports that over the past year, consumer preference has been shaping not only the vendors’ landscape, but also the way IT departments think about devices in the enterprise with BYOD becoming a part of the devices policy. Being able to balance the constant struggle between the security concern for employers and the privacy interest of employees will be a factor. Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi says, "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."

In the business market, by 2012, Windows 8 will take the number three position in the tablet market behind Apple and Android by 2016. Gartner estimates that the share of Windows 8 tablets and ultramobiles in businesses will reach 39 percent in 2016.


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