Mobile devices have become indispensable to most businesses, allowing staff to work remotely while still accessing the same levels of functionality that they would expect on-premises. However, the fast-paced nature of the market means that there is always something around the corner, so here is a look at the type of mobile technology that is going to emerge and shape the industry in 2013.
Most of the mobile innovations first trickle into smartphones before permeating other areas of the market and at the moment it seems that bigger screens and faster processors are the main features that new phones will likely possess.
While Apple is going to be selling millions of its sixth generation iPhone in 2013, which will have a larger display than any of its predecessors, it is easy to conceive of this company as behaving conservatively when you put its devices alongside those from Samsung.
The two may be locked in a legal battle, but Samsung is still rolling out large numbers of high-end smartphones and selling them by the bucket-load.
The recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is following on from its hugely successful predecessor, pushing screen size even further with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display. This gives business users the option to choose a hybrid device that is larger than a smartphone but more portable than a tablet and it is this unique niche occupied by the Note range that has allowed it to be a big seller.
There are rumours of a mini iPad being in development, while Amazon is taking on the larger end of the tablet market with its 8.9-inch Kindle Fire model. However, for business users the main development of interest in this area is the promise of Microsoft-branded tablets running Windows 8.
The first Microsoft Surface tablets arriving in the autumn will run a more basic version of the OS known as Windows RT, with the design allowing them to operate on ARM processors. In 2013, however, fully-fledged Windows 8 tablets with Intel chips will be made available, giving users full, unfettered access to a desktop experience, but on a far more portable device.
What makes the Surface in particular an interesting tablet for business users who want to harness remote working is that the cover doubles up as a full QWERTY keypad with physical buttons. This will mean the main obstacle to working on a tablet, namely the speed of text entry, can be removed and enterprise users will be able to remain far more productive while they are out and about.
Smartphones and tablets may be taking more of the headlines because of their relative novelty, but in the world of business some of the most important mobile devices are laptops, because they truly help to drive productivity while out of the office.
There are still plenty of very functional business-oriented laptops being produced by firms such as Lenovo, although with all the competition from tablets at the moment a number of companies are attempting to create a more alluring range of portable computers known as Ultrabooks.
These have been gradually increasing in popularity over the past few months, although more mainstream success is likely in 2013 as awareness of their existence grows. Part of the reason that Ultrabooks might have an impact in enterprise is that the BYOD (bring your own device) culture perpetuated by the rise of smartphones and tablets will spill over into general computing, particularly if more consumers are choosing stylish laptops that still have all the power and capabilities which you would wish to find on such a device.
Daisy Group PLC allows people stay connected with their businesses, via mobiles tablets or just broadband connectivity we are able to offer UK businesses an abundance of ways to stay connected