821 million "smart devices" expected to be sold this year.
Analysts are predicting that a total of 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets could be sold worldwide in 2013.
This figure is an increase from the 821 million devices that technology research firm Gartner is predicting to be sold in 2012. Exceeding the billion mark is said to be due to organizations and IT departments being influenced by their workers' demands.
"BYOD [bring your own device] [is] becoming a part of the devices policy," said Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi. "We have seen consumer preferences shaping not only the vendors' landscape but also the way IT departments need to think about devices in the enterprise."
The firm estimates that 70 percent of devices sold in 2012 will be "smart devices," which are smartphones and tablets. "In 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile," she added.
According to analysts who are meeting at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 this week, tablets will be the key device to accelerate mobility. It predicts that companies will purchase 13 million tablets this year and more than 39 million by 2016.
"For most businesses smartphones and tablets will not entirely replace PCs," she continued. "But the ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way businesses look at their device strategies and the way consumers embrace devices."
By 2016, Gartner predicts that Google's Android platform will account for 56 percent of smartphones sold to businesses in both North America and Europe, which would represent an increase from 34 percent in 2012.
"Today the wide range of brands and price points that the Android ecosystem is offering is winning over users," said Milanesi. "While Apple remains the heartbeat by which the market moves, Google has rapidly become its archrival."
As for Windows 8, the technology research firm believes tablets and ultramobiles powered by the operating system in businesses will reach 39 percent in 2016. "Tablets and convertibles will be the way into businesses for Windows 8," predicted the firm.
The forecast for RIM and its lineup of BlackBerry devices, however, isn't too bright, as has already been showcased. "As businesses are looking for a multi-device strategy and a rich application portfolio it is clear that RIM has a huge challenge ahead in regaining its key presence in the enterprise."