Which country has the highest penetration of tablet computers, smartphones, and internet-connected TV combined: A) South Korea, B) Japan, C) United States, D) China, E) Germany, or F) none of the above?
That's right, it's "F", at least according to a study by media services firm ZenithOptimedia, which says that Norway leads the pack with 38.8 percent and that Sweden stands out in particular in smartphone uptake with 73 percent in that category. Throw in Denmark, and those three Scandinavian countries rank in 2012's top 5 for what London-based Zenith calls "new media technology." All five are in Western Europe, with France and Holland rounding out the leader board.
Is it something in the chilly Nordic climate, psyche or what?
In a press release Zenith doesn't offer an explanation other than to say that the latest findings reflect Scandinavia's "traditional consumer enthusiasm for Internet and digital media." It says its full report delves into the ramifications for advertising through the three types of connected devices, which Zenith calls "new media technology."
Norway was relatively strong both in smartphones and tablets, with 65 percent smartphone and 13 percent tablet penetration respectively, compared to an average for the top 19 countries of 35.5 percent and 4.7 percent.
Average penetration of IPTV devices - technology for connecting the Internet to television - was ahead of tablets at 6.6 percent in the 19 countries, but will only rise to 9 percent by 2015 while tablet penetration will hit 13 percent, Zenith forecasts. Holland will stand out in penetration of Internet-connected TVs, with 91 percent by 2015.
By 2015, Scandinavia will remain strong overall, but Holland will take the top spot and France will remain number two, with Ireland surging to three.
The U.S. doesn't even make the overall top 10 for 2012, although it is among the top 5 in tablet penetration, as it exceeded 15 percent penetration along with four other countries - Australia, France, Ireland and Holland.