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February 2013

Mobile business apps for real, but post-PC future likely a mirage

The much-heralded "post-PC era" might be dawning in the consumer technology market, as sales of smartphones and tablet computers rise and purchases of desktop PCs and laptops fall. And some of that early-morning light is creeping into the corporate sector, where the ranks of tablet-toting execs, smartphone-wielding sales reps and other mobile users are mushrooming. Indeed, the numbers tell a story of rapid growth for mobile devices and applications in the workplace. According to online surveys conducted by Boston-based Yankee Group last June, the percentage of U.S. workers saying they use smartphones on the job had surged from 37% in June 2011 to 60%; meanwhile, 51% of surveyed organizations said they were increasing their budgets for mobile business apps, up from 28% a year earlier. And some large companies and government agencies are buying mobile devices by the thousands. For example, London-based banking group Barclays PLC confirmed in November that it was purchasing 8,500 Apple iPads for use by branch-office workers. ...

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