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US Trailing W. Europe and Canada in New Media Adoption

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Despite its wealth and stronger economic growth, the US is adopting new media technologies —smartphone, tablet, and IPTV (Internet protocol television)—at a slower pace than other countries, according to a new report by ZenithOptimedia.

The US now ranks No. 12 in the adoption of new media technologies and is expected to slip to No. 14 in the rankings by 2015.

Across the 19 geographic markets studied, Western Europe is leading adoption for all three technologies.

Below, other projections issued by ZenithOptimedia.

On average (across all 19 markets), smartphone ownership is forecast to double by 2015 while tablet ownership is expected to surge 177%. IPTV adoption is forecast to climb 36% over the same period:

  • Smartphone penetration is forecast to reach 71.7% in 2015, up from 35.5% in 2012.
  • Tablet ownership is expected to reach 13.0% in 2015, from 4.7% in 2012.
  • IPTV is forecast to reach only 9.0% of consumers worldwide by 2015, up from 6.6% in 2012.

Worldwide Rankings

Norway now ranks first in average penetration of new media devices. However, the Netherlands is expected to be No. 1 by 2015 (driven by heavy IPTV use) up from the No. 3 spot in 2012. Sweden and Denmark also feature in the top 5, reflecting Scandinavia's enthusiasm for the Internet and digital media.

Ireland is forecast to rise the most, from No. 11 in 2012, to No. 3 in 2015:

New media adoption varies dramatically across the 19 markets:

  • Smartphones are the most prevalent device (with an average 35.5% penetration in 2012), but penetration ranges from 73% in Sweden, to 18% in Brazil.
  • In all markets, smartphone penetration is forecast to double to 71.7% by 2015, reaching 33% in Brazil and 93% in Sweden.
  • Tablet adoption reached only 4.7% in 2012; however, it exceeded 15% in five markets: Australia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the US.
  • Tablet penetration is forecast to reach 13.0% across the 19 markets, ranging as high as 45% in France and 50% in Ireland.
  • By 2015, IPTV penetration is forecast to reach 91% in the Netherlands, but only 1% in Russia.

US Stats

US smartphone ownership is forecast to reach 58.6% in 2015 (vs. 71.7% for all 19 countries), up from 35.3% in 2012. Rising costs of mobile subscriptions are expected to slow the growth of smartphone adoption in the US, according to the report.

US tablet penetration is forecast to reach 26.1% in 2015 (twice the worldwide average of 13.0%), from 16.4% in 2012, while only 7.7% of US homes are expected to have IPTV by 2015, up from 6.4% in 2012, ZenithOptimedia said.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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  • by Peter Apel Fri Feb 15, 2013 via web

    Thanks for this post, Lenna, but quite frankly: I doubt the results!
    I travel a lot in Germany and France and haven't ever seen an indication, that the adoption rate in France is nearly three times as large as in Germany. To the contrary. If I should have guessed, I would have said place no. 10 to 15 for Germany, and 15 to 20 France. Well, this must not be right, and even both on place 12 or so might be the truth. But the results here are - "unbelievable". The same applies comparing UK and France and Spain vs. Germany and UK. And when reading about social media adoption in the world, India and Brazil are always far ahead. Here they are far behind. This means, they all do it on PCs, not on tablets or smartphones? There is something wrong with the survey, I'd like to see more setup details.
    Lenna, you are not responsible for the results, I do not want to critizise you and your work, but maybe you can make the ZenithOptimedia people tell more to help us understand this whole thing.
    Thank you very much, Peter

  • by Bankroll Sat Feb 16, 2013 via web

    Hi Lenna , Why in this ranking there is no Poland? In title is W Europe, okej, so why there is Hungary - they are located in E Europe the same as Poland. Poland have very high avg. penetration, also with very cheap acces to LTE connection (price starts form 1,5 euro).

  • by Bankroll Sat Feb 16, 2013 via web

    also I agree with Peter Apel

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