Need more proof that we're living in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) era, no matter what the official corporate policy says? Sales figures and forecasts from Gartner show that smartphones will continue to be the biggest-selling device platform for the foreseeable future, but tablets and PCs aren't disappearing either.
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Here are Gartner's worldwide shipment numbers for 2013 and projections through to 2015 for different form factors (all figures are in thousands of units):
|PC (Desk-Based and Notebook)||341,273||299,342||277,939||268,491|
|Other Ultramobiles (Hybrid and Clamshell)||9,344||17,195||39,636||63,835|
Note that while PC sales are declining, and Gartner is projecting tablet sales will overtake them by 2015, they're not going away. 268 million devices is not a small number. The need to manage PCs won't disappear -- but if you don't have a plan to also manage mobile phones, you're in big trouble.
How many form factors might you need to manage? Here are Gartner's worldwide projections based on broad OS type (note that Windows includes Windows Phone and Mac and iOS have been bundled together):
Android is already dominant, and Gartner projects that will continue. Windows will grow, but not at the same rate, while Apple will remain in third place.
Projections don't always come true, but the evident diversity in the 2012 numbers, and the huge number of Android devices out there, show that we're well beyond the single-OS workplace. Any IT management strategy needs to reflect that.