One in every five tablets will be an enterprise device by 2017

One in every five tablets will be an enterprise device by 2017

Summary: Enterprise tablet adoption is on the rise, according to analysts, who predict there will be almost one billion tablets in the world in the coming years.

TOPICS: Tablets, Hardware

Enterprise adoption of the tablet is expected to pick up significantly in coming years, according to analyst firm Forrester, which predicts 18 percent of tablet sales to come from businesses. 

Enterprise tablets will make up around 12 percent of the 186 million tablets that Forrester expects to be in use in 2013. However, business adoption for internal and customer-facing purposes will drive tablets to become 18 percent all tablets in use by 2017, according to the company's latest global business and consumer tablet forecast update.  

Forrester forecasts tablet sales will rise from 122 million in 2012 to 381 million a year by 2017, suggesting tablet sales in the enterprise of 68 million a year.

Image: Forrester

The rise in enterprise tablet buying could be good news for Microsoft Windows if Forrester's recent surveys come to pass. 

Microsoft's Surface RT and Pro tablets have not swept up enterprise customers as quickly as Microsoft hoped, but Forrester has a positive outlook for the broader category of Windows 8 tablets, pointing to its own survey in 2012 that found 20 percent of information workers would prefer Windows 8 on their next tablet.

Microsoft tablets through the ages: The good, the bad and the ugly, in pictures

Microsoft tablets through the ages: The good, the bad and the ugly, in pictures

Microsoft tablets through the ages: The good, the bad and the ugly, in pictures

However, Forrester's telecoms and mobility workforce survey of 600 workers earlier this year showed that more people used Amazon's Kindle Fire as their primary work tablet than a Windows slate: nine percent reported using an Amazon Kindle Fire as their primary work tablet. Meanwhile, a Windows 7 tablet was used by 5 percent, Windows 8 Pro was used by two percent, and Window RT was used by one percent.

Apple dominated with 52 percent of respondents using an iPad as their primary work tablet, while 25 percent used an Android device. Four percent reported using a BlackBerry PlayBook.

Forrester also forecasts that the total installed base of tablets will reach 905 million by 2017, rising from 327 million tablets this year, to 654 million by 2015 and 795 million by 2016. By 2017, one in eight people in the world will own a tablet.

Tablets will be distributed unevenly, Forrester notes, with 60 percent of online consumers in North America and 42 percent in Europe forecast to own a tablet by 2017. Penetration rates in developing economies will not reach 25 percent in aggregate by then.

Despite some estimates that the cumulative share of Android tablets have already surpassed Apple's iPad, Forrester believes Apple's iOS to "maintain a lead, albeit at a diminished plurality of market share" due to its healthy ecosystem of apps.

Analysts at Canalys this week reported that Apple's share of tablets in Q2 slid to 42 percent of the 34 million shipped, while Android stood at 53 percent, thanks to Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo and Acer.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • good

    "Enterprise tablets will make up around 12 percent of the 186 million tablets that Forrester expects to sell in 2013"

    I didn't know Forrester was the largest tablet seller in the world. :)
  • Re: pointing to its own survey in 2012

    Which turned out to be wrong. Or at least, the respondents were saying one thing, and doing another.

    Doesn't look like most of those enterprise tablets are going to be running Windows, at this rate.
  • More data

    How many companies plan to replace laptops with tablets as main work devices? The phrase "main work tablet" is meaningless in the company I work for as they do not issue corporate-owned tablets and personal devices are not allowed on the network. I would estimate about 0% of our 60,000 users have something they would call "primary work tablet." That many consider a Kindle as 'work tablet" probably solidifies the perception that tablets are diversionary entertainment devices and in most cases probably don't belong in the enterprise.
  • Define Tablet

    1) A device running a currently water-down operating system that has become synonymous with tablets, such as iOS or Android

    2) A device with a tablet form factor running a full-powered traditional desktop OS or hybrid OS, such as Windows 8
  • Before adopting tablets in the enterprise...

    ...people must change their way of thinking about them. Here in México, Pemex (Mexican Oil) started issuing iPads with apps to monitor some processes and the like. Senators were given iPads too, so they could take notes and book their dates and the like. What happened with those iPads paid with our taxes? Well... Fruit ninjas and Candy crushers started in this country. Enough said!!
    Aristarco Palacios
  • ...enterprise

    Sure there are a lot of uses for a tablet in business, however there will always be a need for personal work stations of some design. You can't do everything on a tablet......Even a Surface.