iPad Pro reinforces Apple's lead in Nordic smart connected devices market despite economic hurdles, says IDC

28 Jun 2016

LONDON, June 28, 2016 — According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the smart connected device (SCD) market contracted 12.5% in the Nordic region in 2016Q1 compared with the same quarter last year. The region remained affected by unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, such as exchange rate volatility and oil price fluctuations, all of which impacted investments, particularly in Norway and Sweden. Consumer spending also remained constrained across all four countries.

Looking at the overall SCD market, Apple and Samsung remained the top two vendors in the region, with a respective share of 28.8% and 21.8% in 2016Q1. Tablet shipments decreased 17.6% YoY, desktops and notebooks declined 10.5% and 7.9%, and mobile phones decreased 12.6%. There was, however, significant growth in new form factors such as detachables, and this points to strong interest in adopting mobile solutions. There was strong growth in detachables (215.3% YoY), as well as ultraslim (9.6%) and convertible notebooks (8.9%).

Apple increased its share of the detachable market to 39.5%, thanks to the iPad Pro launches. Apple was followed by Lenovo, which increased its share to 13.4% compared with 2015Q1, Samsung (12.3%), and Huawei (9.1%). The smaller iPad Pro 9.7in., released in the last week of the quarter, did not have a major impact on 2016Q1 but is expected to have a greater impact in the coming quarter. The two Chinese technology firms in the detachable market have seen strong growth, with Lenovo posting 86.0% YoY growth. Detachables are fast-growing form factors and, given that the Nordic countries are early adopters of new and emerging technologies, the ramp up is expected to be fast.

Apple maintained its lead in high-price bands in the SCD market, especially in all-in-ones (AIOs) and tablets. In 2016Q1, the company shipped more SCDs priced over $700 than any other supplier. Apple is particularly competitive in AIOs and 12/13in. detachables, largely due to the recent launch of the 21.5in. and 27in. iMac with Retina display — showing that the strong image and brand awareness that the company has built in the region has helped it offset price and macroeconomic barriers.

"Numbers show that demand for premium Apple products is still solid," said Andrea Minonne, research analyst at IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "Although the Nordic area has faced hurdles, the California-headquartered company has defended itself very well, strengthening brand awareness and maintaining its lead in products such as AIOs and detachables. This is remarkable considering the desktop market decline and the unfavorable economic conditions in the region."

Apple's lead in SCDs is not only due to high volumes of shipped tablets, but also to smartphones. Smartphone manufacturers continue to face challenging conditions when selling smartphones in the Nordic region, with total shipments declining 13% year on year in 2016Q1 to 2.4 million units. The high penetration of smartphones will continue to impact sales. All major players saw a strong decline in shipments — except Huawei, which became the third-largest vendor.

"Huawei's continuous focus on premium devices at affordable prices is attracting new clients by the day," said Francisco Jeronimo, research director, European Mobile Devices, IDC EMEA. "Its investments across different channels are giving confidence to retailers and mobile operators about its long-term positioning as a leading brand in Europe."

In the PC market, Lenovo and HP are the two key players battling to increase shares. Lenovo has led the notebook market since 2015Q1 and has increased its share to 30.5%; HP is a close second, with a 25.7% share of the market. These roles are reversed in the desktop market, with HP ahead of Lenovo (32.4% versus 19.4%). The Nordic region is set to further fluctuate before reaching full stability — many deals have been postponed and will take place later in the year, leading to market improvements and new opportunities.

In conclusion, Apple continued to drive most consumer spending in the SCD market in the Nordics in 2016Q1, though competition is strong in some products, such as smartphones. The SCD market is very differentiated and extremely competitive. While Apple maintains momentum in both slate and detachable tablets, Lenovo is making quick progress, gaining share in slate tablets in particular. Competition is even tighter in smartphones, with Samsung just behind Apple (35.3% versus 36.7%) and determined to bridge the gap and expand its customer base.

Nordic Smart Connected Devices: Top 5 Vendors

2016Q1 (Calendar Year, 000 Units)

OS Unit Shipments 2015Q1 Unit Shipments 2016Q1 Unit % Share 2015Q1 Unit % Share 2016Q1 Unit Growth 2015Q1 vs 2016Q1
Apple 1,588 1,216 33.0% 28.8% -23.5%
Samsung 1,127 920 23.4% 21.8% -18.4%
Lenovo 361 368 7.5% 8.7% 1.9%
HP Inc. 286 289 5.9% 6.8% 1.0%
Huawei 84 243 1.7% 5.8% 191.3%
Others 1,374 1,182 28.5% 28.0% -14.0%
Grand total 4,819 4,217 100.0% 100.0% -12.50%

Source: IDC Smart Connected Device Tracker, 2016Q1

Table notes:

  • IDC's Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker includes personal computers (PCs, notebooks, and desktops), smartphones, detachables (previously referred to as 2-in-1s), and tablet slates.
  • The Nordic region includes Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

IDC's Smart Connected Quarterly Tracker provides unmatched market coverage and forecasts for the entire device space, covering PCs, tablets, and smartphones in more than 80 countries — providing fast, essential, and comprehensive market information across the entire connected device market.

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