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Smart Watch Adoption Surging in Nordics

Nearly doubles in most markets

June 15, 2017 | Mobile

While smart watches may have arrived in the Nordics later than other markets, adoption is rising fast throughout the region. In some countries, it’s even caught up to the US and UK.

Norway leads the region for smart watch penetration by household, according to Q1 2017 research by AudienceProject. The country’s 12% household penetration rate during the year’s first three months was 50% higher than that of its nearest Nordic neighbor, Sweden. Moreover, it outpaced the UK by 1 percentage point and trailed the US by just 2 percentage points.

Smart Watch Household Penetration in Select Countries, Q1 2017 (% of households)

Norway’s Q1 2017 figure was more than double its 5% household penetration rate just a year earlier. Penetration also doubled in Sweden, while in Finland and Denmark adoption surged by 75% and 67%, respectively.

While large, those gains do reflect easy comparisons to initial uptake rates early in availability of most smart watches currently on the market in the Nordics, especially the segment-leading Apple Watch.

“Generally devices are introduced to the Nordic markets later than in the UK and US,” noted Rune Werliin, AudienceProject’s head of marketing and communication. “As an example, Apple Watch was introduced in [the Nordics in] September 2015 [approximately six months after its US and UK debut], and as our study 2016 was conducted from January to March 2016 there was little time to gain penetration [before that study].”

Werliin attributed Norway’s region-leading smart watch adoption rate since then to the country having a “higher income level than any other market, [so] a faster penetration of luxury gadgets should be expected.”

—Cliff Annicelli

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