Gartner's 2013 mobile and wireless predictions

While Microsoft is the most familiar, widely used and accepted technology brand in most offices today, by 2014 Apple will be just as popular, according to IT analyst Gartner. 

While iPad and iPhones are already fully acceptable devices in organisations, Macbooks and desktop Macs will soon join the ranks thanks to Apple's consumer-fuelled popularity, according to PublicTechnology.net's report on the industry expert's latest analysis.

By 2016, more than half of apps will work on different devices and operating systems. The rise of these "hybrid" apps is being driven by businesses developing and deploying mobile applications to support a growing variety of mobile working styles and customer experiences. 

For example, mobile traffic has increased significantly on AccountingWEB over the last few years. Mobile members now account for an eighth of  the site's traffic, with Apple users leading the way with nearly three-quarters of all mobile traffic. While comparatively low, Android traffic continues to rise steadily.

According to Gartner, mixed mobile environments will become more prominent as organisations adopt bring your own device (BYOD) schemes and looking to deploy apps throughout their teams. 

"Mobility has always been a separate topic for IT professionals, but it is now influencing mainstream strategies and tactics in the wider areas of technology enablement and enterprise architectures," said Ken Dulaney, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

"Increasingly, organisations are finding that they need to support multiple platforms, especially as the BYOD trend gains momentum."

Gartner predicted that new entrants to the smartrphone market, including Chinese brands and others, were driving driving down the cost of handsets and making them more accessible to business users.

Established suppliers such as Apple and Samsung will need to decide whether or not to compete with lower cost rivals - with rumours alread circulating about the possibility of a low-cost iPhone. 

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