Report: Apple is expected to be primary driver of mobile game market growth

MacMall 96 Hour Apple SaleResearch and Markets has announced their “Gamers and the Usage of Mobile Phones” report.

The survey, conducted in August 2009, analyzed the habits of over 8,000 PC gamers located primarily in North America, Europe and Australia.

According to a series of new reports the worldwide market for portable and mobile games is expected to grow to $11.7 billion by 2014. The primary driver of this growth is expected to be the Apple iPhone and iPod touch systems. By 2014, sales for games on the iPhone/iPod touch are expected to account for about 24% of total portable game software sales.

“The dedicated portable game systems from companies like Nintendo and Sony are still expected to lead the market, but it appears growth for these devices has peaked. The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years,” says DFC analyst David Cole, in the press release.

The author also released some results from a study on the mobile game habits of over 8,000 game players in North America and Europe. 54% of respondents in North America and 69% of respondents in Europe had played a game on their mobile phone in the past year. Furthermore, 45% of respondents in North America and 36% in Europe had paid to purchase an application for their mobile phone. Among respondents, the App Store was already the most popular service for making purchases. Across both North America and Europe about 15% of respondents already owned an iPhone or iPod touch, compared with 29% that owned a Nintendo DS.

The entry of Apple into the mobile entertainment space is so important that the author partnered with leading iPhone application provider Oceanhouse Media (developers of over 60 iPhone apps) to prepare a detailed report on the market. According to Greg Uhler, Oceanhouse Media Development Director, ” with the iPhone and iPod touch, Apple has finally delivered mobile developers a platform with an attractive business model and a rapidly growing installed base of active consumers.” Of course, the iPhone is about more than just games. “Games are expected to account for only about 23% of application sales on the iPhone,” says Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media. “There are many fantastic opportunities for non-game related content on both the iPhone and iPod Touch. These devices, when combined with Apple’s business model, are a much needed revolution for the mobile market.”

More information here.


  1. It has been over half an hour since this story hit MDN, and we still haven’t heard from those “real” games who scoff at iPhone/iPod as a “joke” when it comes to games, claiming that only real gaming consoles, with real buttons, joystick and/or hat-switch can be serious gaming devices.

    PSP, DS and similar will likely continue to exist, but only if their makers figure out how to transform their business from a mainstream portable gaming (where they once ruled) to a niche, enthusiast, “pro” gamer type of crowd, which is willing to pay premium (over iPod/iPhone) in order to have a “premium” portable gaming experience. There are very few of those, and Sony/Nintendo need figure out if their portable gaming hardware is even sustainable on those enthusiasts.

  2. @Predrag
    The iPhone is a joke when it comes to real games. You need buttons and joy stick to play real games. The iPhone is not a serious gaming device.

    There you go. That should do it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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