Barcelona, Spain – Gartner is forecasting that 821 million smartphones and tablets will be sold in 2012 worldwide, rising to 1.2 billion the following year.
The research firm pointed to the “consumerization” of IT devices as the primary reason for the increase. Smartphones and tablets will not replace PCs, but they will force small and large businesses to create new purchasing strategies.
The smartphone will see the greatest increase in acceptance, with about 66 percent of the mobile workforce being so equipped by 2016. In addition, 40 percent of the entire workforce itself will be mobile by this time.
Android devices will make up 56 percent of the smart devices sold by 2016, up from 34 percent in 2012.
Windows 8 will also benefit from this trend. At launch, Windows 8 has primarily been a pure consumer play, but the heavy introduction this year of Windows 8 tablets and hybrid tablet/Ultrabooks will help push the operating system into the enterprise market.