Big in Denmark: iPhone captures 36% of phone market value

Thanks for Rob Marsh for forwarding the following snapshot of data from Denmark:

Salget af smartphones eksploderer i Danmark.

According to GfK data in Denmark, during the first quarter of 2010 29% of phones sold were smartphones. In the second quarter, the share grew to 37%. In the third quarter, 51% of units and 71% of sales value was captured by smartphones.

Looking at September alone, Apple’s share of the smartphone market was 34%. In terms of value share, 51% of all the dollars that consumers spent for smartphones, was spent on the iPhone.

In other words, in September in Denmark, iPhone captured 34%*51% = 17% of all units and 51%*71% = 36% of all mobile phone sales.

Rob adds:

iPhone 4 is now available on all (4) major networks in Denmark. iPhone 4 has not been advertised very heavily, whilst Android has received a lot of advertising. My experience travelling on public transport in Greater Copenhagen is that iPhone is everywhere, whilst Android and Blackberry is less prevalent.

To get a sense of how that compares with the global average, in the third quarter Apple’s unit share was only 4.1% while sales share comes to about 17%. Seems like there is plenty of room for growth.

While Denmark is a small country (population: about 5.5 million) and it’s not likely to reflect global patterns, it has been rated the happiest place on Earth.

  • Jeff

    What do you make of this post? Thank you for the great posts.

    • asymco

      Google is not unique in paying for distribution rights. Microsoft has been doing that for a long time (e.g. Verizon is rumored to have received $500 million for Bing placement on their phones, including Android phones.)

      The assumption that Google is paying operators for their operating system is a matter of how you account for where the value is. Google's product is a commodity, but the operator's relationship with the customer is something Google desperately needs. Who's buying whom?

      • Great grammar Who's buying whom? Americans don't even speak English that well. For Google, Android is a vehicle into social and local search. Google isn't committed to making the best mobile OS available, rather making an OS that vendors and carriers will embrace. I don't see Apple ever really capturing more than 30-40% of the market, and that's more than fine because of they target a niche with high profit margins.

        The real issue is RIMM. I have been reluctant to short RIMM just because they have lost the high end battle. They shifted focus to the low-end and have cleaned up. They bragged on a call several quarters ago about being the only smartphone available on pre-pay. That's where there growth has come from, and I envisioned the RIMM Curve being the next MOT RAZR. One small problem though. I have seen many people who are credit dead and/or on the Cricket etc with Android phones. They are cheap phones, yet this presents a problem for RIMM specifically, especially since I expect iPhone to rule to high-end at Verizon.

        Microsoft has deep pockets and could disrupt Android on the low-end. As a matter of fact, I have started to use the Bing a lot more now since SEO haven't gamed Bing as much as they have Google. Bing has access to some Facebook data allowing search to be more personalized. Google does not, and CEO is quite pissed about it. I see Google in a very precarious situation. It's looking like it could me my next short play. There have been a mass of criticism recently regarding how Google's search in essence has become broken due to the SEO gaming. The only solution is incorporating some element of curation, perhaps vis a vis social media such as Facebook.

        Apple strives to deliver value added stemming from the fact that its goal is to offer a superior product and user experience opposed to Google that strives to capture a large user base whereby it can extract user data to enhance its algorithm engines as well as being in position to deliver marketing messages (ie ads).

    • JonathanU

      Very interesting read – thanks for sharing.

  • barryotoole

    No big deal; just wanted to point out a typo:

    "51% or units" should be "51% of units"

    Great post, as always.

  • Les S

    Denmark "has been rated the happiest place on Earth." Which explains why I can't wait to start my paperwork on getting EU citizenship. 😉

    Thanks again for finding the needles in the haystacks.

  • Priit

    Small in Estona, where smartphones accounted 19% in units and 45% in sales in Nov 2010, iPhone is 6% in units and 11% in sales FROM smartphones.

    • Priit


    • kevin

      So the other 13% in smartphone units are garnering 34% of sales dollars, which means they are about 50% more expensive than the iPhone. Is that correct?

      Do you have a link?

      • Priit

        You read it wrong, smarts are 19%, iPhone is 6% of that… No, I don't have a link, but I have all the data, maybe even able to access Finland numbers too, if anybody interested and H cannot find them.

      • arjun_

        I guess your point about Denmark's data being irrelevant due to market size is outlined well by your bringing up Estonia's statistics, what with their population being a whopping ~1.34M and with a staggering -14% GDP growth in 2009 (

      • Priit

        No, I find Denmarks data very interesting, not at all irrelevant. I think those two are good examples on how iPhone sells. Denmark's all carriers sell, in Estonia only one, and with stupid restrictions. Result is visible.

      • Priit

        Sorry of offtopic commenr, but I VERY much like to know who are those 2 individuals (as of writing this) who pressed "thumb down" to post i'm currently reply'ng. What EXACTLY was the reason of this kind of negative click? I can guess that some morons see red on anything I wrote here, but this cannot be true, can it?

      • Simple, you said something bad about their precious shiny iPhone.

    • r00tabega

      Your data sounds interesting in that it doesn't follow the pattern elsewhere.
      Can you provide the other parts of your data and list your source?

      • Priit

        Sorry, no. It's a official and expensive survey where all vendors interested participate and carriers provide data but it is not public.

    • asymco

      6% of smartphones is quite low. Lower than in Finland, land of Nokia (last data I have was about 17% smartphone share). Probably lower than in Korea, land of Samsung and LG. And way lower than in Canada, land of RIM. Maybe these vendors should set up shop in Estonia.

      • Priit

        The reason perhaps are conditions needed to be met to buy iPhone. Those are perhaps nothing special in US context for example, but in Estonian context they are outrageous. Its the only phone on the market that connot be bought unlocked and at full price, it's the only phone you have to buy with 2 years contract with stupid service plans. Local habits are to buy service and unlocked hardware separately. Service is always choosen freely and service is never tied to any specific phone. You may buy subsidised hardware, but in essence this means just downpayments for 2 year, added to service costs and shown on the bill separately. I guess Apple shoveled US tactics to the exclusive local carrier and they let it happen.

  • KenC

    According to that 60 minutes show where the story of the happy Danes was introduced to the US, it’s not that the Danes are so happy, but that they are more fatalistic, have lower expectations in life, and thus less unhappy than other countries.

    • Prasad

      Well, I am Danish and I believe it is more complex than that. Some of the factors are a coherent population and an extended social security system – combined with DK being an affluent society. But who can really see the whole picture…?

  • Here is follow-up on Australia

    Apple is smartphone leader recently passing Nokia and is second in mobile phones overall

    • From the above article:

      >>Android-powered smartphones are seeing strong growth, now accounting for 21 percent of the smartphone market, up a huge amount from 7.1 and 2.1 percent in the previous two quarters.

      Something tells me it is a much steeper growth trajectory then the iPhone's, and presumably without any carrier advantage.

      • asymco

        There are more than two platforms on the market.

      • Big D

        It doesn't matter even if it is. Google has to make enough ad revenue to cover the cost of developing Android and supporting it. This remains to be seen. The Android handset makers are not profitable and will undercut each other until the phones are practically given away. Meanwhile Apple makes a pile of money. There are way too many emotions surrounding this IOS/Android debate. What's important is current and future profitability. Nokia will continue to slide. Seems to me Apple is in a very solid position to continue to grow their profits in mobile.

        Big D from Canada

      • Nokia will only continue to slide if they don't do anything, which wouldn't be unheard of with Nokia, but from current rumblings, that doesn't seem to be what is happening.

        Symbian^3 phones got a minor patch update a few days ago. PR1.1 is supposedly due in the next week and supposedly PR2.0 is due in February with 50+ changes and a new browser.

        Of course they then have to get the message out that they've had all these changes which is difficult when the US tech blogs dominate the discussion and Nokia get such a hostile response from the US.

      • asymco

        Another Nokia news item that did not get coverage: Another 500 R&D layoffs yesterday. Plan was for 800 but negotiations and relocation resulted in the lower figure. Only local media reported it.

      • SubGenius

        Android is growing but not at Apple's expense.

  • I've been working in CPH for the last few months, and it's really expensive to get an iPhone in Denmark. You've also got to have a Danish social security number to buy one!

  • Horace:

    Does John Strand know about Apple's success in Denmark?

    Do you know John Strand?

    • arjun_

      Didn't know who he was up until now. Just read skimmed through his opinions and takeaways from his 2009 105 page report that has been circulated widely.

      Oh well, at least he has more of an impact than Joe Wilcox, while maintaining the same level of willful ignorance. Strand Consult probably earns him a pretty penny too.

    • asymco

      I know of him but I don't know him and don't know what he knows.

      • fred12

        Then you know enough about John Strand.

      • Horace:

        With that answer,
        I could have gotten you a job in the DOD if Rumsfeld was still Secretary of Defense!

      • Prasad

        John Strand is the Rob Enderle of Denmark. Trust me, you don' t wanna know too much about him!

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  • JonathanU

    Do we have any data for the UK? Last time I checked RIMM's financial statements, the UK had it's own separate line item for revenue; so I'm assuming they classed it as a pretty important market (no doubt linked to London and the financial centre of Europe adopting Blackberries very early on and in large numbers). From my experience, Android phones are almost non-existent and the only phones that anyone really has are BB's and iPhones. Would love to see some stats on this and whether this is true across the board?