With a strong 35.7% penetration rate, France is second highest - behind Norway (38.8%), but well ahead of the United States (19.4%) - in the use of connected devices (smartphones, tablets, connected TVs), according to a new study by media planning agency ZenithOptimedia.
Japan comes in 18th position with a 9.8% penetration rate.
The results are due to French people's interest in "smartphones (54% penetration rate), connected TVs through IPTV boxes (38%), as well as tablets' growing success, which are already present in 15% of French homes," the study says.
ZenithOptimedia forecasts that France will retain its second place in 2015 with a penetration rate of 60.8%, behind The Netherlands (65.1%) and ahead of Ireland (50.2%).
More globally, ZenithOptimedia highlights that the five main digital markets are all Western European (The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in third, fourth and fifth place), while the best-positioned non-Euro market, Canada, comes in at sixth place, ahead of Australia.
Eastern Europe's best placed country is Hungary coming in 16th position, while Latin America's highest country, Brazil, comes 17th out of the 19 countries observed by the study.
Across all those countries, smartphone penetration rate reached 35.5% in 2012 and will reach 46.6% this year and 71.7% in 2015.
Regarding tablets, their rate was 4.7% in 2012, and is expected to rise to 7.2% this year and 13% in 2015. The average rate has already jumped to 15%-plus in five countries: Australia, France, Ireland, The Netherlands and the US. In France and Ireland, it will reach 45% and 50% respectively in 2015.
The connected TV penetration rate is expected to rise from 6.6% in 2012 to 9% in 2015.
However, ZenithOptimedia believes that the growing use of connected devices doesn't impact the online advertising market in the same way. In this segment, France, for instance, came in 16th position for digital advertising investment in 2012 (20.9%).