Smartphones, tablets to be "the go-to device for going online"

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More than half of users will use a tablet or smartphone to go online by 2018, with Wi-Fi also becoming more dominant in the workplace, new research has found.

A report from Gartner revealed current behaviour, where the PC is only used for complex tasks, will become more prevalent, as smartphones and tablets grow more sophisticated. Van Baker, Research Vice President, said: "This behaviour will adapt to incorporate wearables as they become widely available for users. As voice, gesture and other modalities grow in popularity with consumers, and as content consumption tasks outweigh content creation tasks, this will further move users away from the PC.”

Workplaces will increasingly shift away from ethernet, with 40 percent using Wi-Fi as the default connection for non-mobile devices like desktop PCs, desk phones and projectors. The report said security measures such as 802.1X have helped allay organisations' fears about threats.

Ken Dulaney, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, said: "Ethernet cabling has been the mainstay of the business workspace connectivity since the beginning of networking. However, as smartphones, laptops, tablets and other consumer devices have multiplied, the consumer space has largely converted to a wireless-first world. As bring your own device has increased in many organisations, the collision of the business and consumer worlds has changed workers' demands.”

Elsewhere, the report said 78 percent of all smartphone sales will be in the developed world, with three quarters paying less than $100 (€81.54) for a device. It said the downward trend will continue to be driven by ultra-competitive Chinese players, adding high-end smartphones shipments will fall in the developing work as their features have less value to the mass market.

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