Smartphones,Tablets and “Surface” – the choice grows..
In this post, we are looking at predictions for the smartphone and tablet sales and how the trends in tablets and smart phones might shape up during the rest of 2013, as these are the devices that our clients’ employees will be bringing into the office.
Worldwide sales of smart devices are phenomenal. With sales up 48% on last year, the tablet computer is the big success story of 2013. Apple and Samsung are the two big brands, with 89% of the market between them.
Apple sold 19.5 million smartphones worldwide just in the first quarter of 2013 and analysts predict that one billion of them will be sold in 2013, with over 50% of the market going to Samsung and Apple, while mobile phone sales are actually declining.
Microsoft, the newcomer, has 1.8% of the market so far, with the more expensive Surface Pro being the most popular model. Microsoft offers two tablet operating systems on its Surface – Win 8 and Win RT.
We will be watching Microsoft Surface with interest, because although it is still very new, and sales are relatively small so far, Microsoft potentially has a great market position. They have the lion’s share of the corporate desktop market, and the Surface was made to work with Office, so we expect them to become an important contender in this market.
Another interesting option is the 7” device. It’s a convenient size which will be attractive to many consumers.
There is no doubt that tablets or smartphones are the device of choice for work and play, and that the consumer market, which moves faster than the corporate market, is dictating how we use these devices at work. This is the phenomenon that IT departments call “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD).
It’s difficult to predict where trends will go next, but there could be a move to the smaller tablets which are easier to carry, or maybe people will use several devices, one in each location? We think that tablet sales will soon plateau in the UK market, and that companies will be able to solve the issues just mentioned. Some companies are providing devices for their people. We are seeing this, particularly in retail finance, where bank employees are starting to use iPads on the floor of the bank.
However the choice of devices is wider than ever, and the new acronym: “Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)” can equally well apply. With consumers free to choose their own device, IT teams are finding they need to go along with staff choice, and work with a number of devices and operating systems that they did not select themselves. We will consider this again in the next post.