iPhone takes major market share in mobile games

By March 23, 2010Casual Games


As this graphic from Flurry Analytics shows the iPhone OS is killing the Nintendo DS and PSP in the portable games market – original story on Techcrunch. To put some numbers around that, Flurry believe that $500m of iPhone games were sold through the App Store in the US last year, up from $115m the year before.

The games market has historically been a corner of media world where standardised platforms have played second fiddle to purpose built devices, in both fixed and mobile.  Maybe that is now starting to change.  What is exciting from a games point of view is the ability to take advantage of iPhone features that it wouldn’t have been economically viable to build into a pure play portable gaming device – that ranges from the obvious benefits you get from an accelerometer today to maybe augmented reality games using the camera and GPS in the not too distant future.

Looking even further forward I expect a range of other sensors to get built into smartphones, including biometric sensors.  If I’m right then games developers will find new and exciting ways to use them and the iPhone and its ilk will continue to take share from Nintendo and Sony.

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  • Interesting post. I wonder though, how much of that pie was taken from Nintendo and Sony and how much of it was created by the iphone?

    It will be interesting to see their response as they try to hold on to their current customers, while attracting the new “gamers” out there. It's somewhat comparable to what the Wii did to PS3 and Xbox in terms of expanding the addressable market- now both PS3 and Xbox are adding motion based games.

  • Good point. The iPhone definitely grew the market, although I suspect they also took share. Certainly the execs at Nintendo and Sony are concerned, and their response will be interesting.

  • Mobile applications have helped to expand the use of wireless technology immensely. Applications have revolutionized the capabilities of the mobile phone, to include a variety of functions, including internet browsing, movie players, games, music and much more.

  • Smartphone gaming has really been boosting its sales lately especially in teenagers as the smartphone has not just become a tool for communication but has also been a fashion icon among some and since teenagers love to play games, their gaming sales has also improved.