Web-enabled smartphones and tablets are rapidly changing the landscape for instant connectivity and on-the-go communications, and the market for the devices will continue to expand in the upcoming year.
New figures released by the consulting firm Delotte predict that 2013 will be the first year that smartphone shipments will reach 1 billion worldwide, pushing the total installed base of smartphones to nearly 2 billion globally.
Additionally, the cumulative global Wi-Fi-enabled device shipments (including smartphones and tablets) reached 5 billion in 2012 and the pace of market growth is expected to maintain momentum. A recent article in Venture Beat explained that the new Wi-Fi capabilities that will be launched in 2013 will grow the market to nearly 20 billion web-enabled devices by 2017.
As Internet-enabled devices are further integrated into our daily personal lives and as people become more comfortable with multimedia technologies such as instant messaging or video conferencing, workers will demand the same capabilities in for business.
Here are a few of the the key factors driving the market growth and the trend toward web-enabled mobile device use:
The Millennial Generation is now entering the workforce in mass. These young workers are used to working together and have grown up with the collaboration tools to “group think.” As more and more tech-savvy professionals hit the job market, the demand for social media and on-the-go collaboration tools will only continue to go up.
New tablet technologies like the iPad mini, which costs considerably less than the standard sized iPad, are more affordable than ever. Now, people of all ages — even the budget conscious consumers — can afford the technology, so they’re purchasing.
Software manufacturers are developing a greater number of cloud-based applications for business use, which will result in more streamlined, efficient work. Mobile device users will be able to take advantage of mobility features and unified communications solutions on their own devices with a greater number of integrated apps to meet their business needs.
Businesses are allowing a growing percentage of the workforce to operate remotely. Telecommuting will continue to grow as employers realize the costs savings and productivity gains associated with working from home even part-time.
In a global business community in which employees are increasingly mobile, the BYOD (bring your own device) trend will continue to take off in businesses of all sizes, from small start-ups to corporate enterprises. Along with the growth in enabling technologies and cloud-based apps, we will see companies worldwide provisioning personal devices for business communications.
Want to learn more about the BYOD trend? Check out our white paper: The Business Case for Unified Communications: A Must Have for 2013.