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iPhone Titles Now 10% of North American Mobile Game Market

  • Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile Business

By Jason Ankeny

New platforms including Apple's iPhone, Nokia's N-Gage and Google's Android will galvanize the growth of the mobile gaming market according to a new report issued by media research firm Screen Digest, which notes that Apple alone accounted for $100 million in gaming revenues in the second half of 2008, translating to 10 percent of the North American mobile games segment. While the operator-distributed mobile games market increased more than 50 percent in 2004 and 2005, growth will fall to just 7 percent in 2009--Screen Digest contends that new smartphone platforms will pick up the slack, although games for new platforms represented only 15 percent of mobile games revenues in North America and Europe during 2008.

Screen Digest cites Apple's combination of appealing hardware, large developer community and easy-to-use retail environment as the keys to its lead in the mobile gaming sector, adding that for major publishers, the greatest impact of the iPhone and App Store is not the additional revenues generated via game sales but rather the overall effect of the App Store's business model on the wider mobile games market. Screen Digest credits the App Store for increasing awareness of mobile games and for persuading some network operators to lower their revenue shares and build their own application stores.

"At the moment Apple is out in front in terms of user experience, range of content and in generating consumer and developer interest in mobile games for its devices," said Screen Digest research analyst Jack Kent in a prepared statement. "While the market for mobile games on the App Store is strong, iPhone users still only account for a tiny proportion of the market. In Q4 2008, iPhone shipments made up less than 2 percent of total handset shipments. Handset manufacturers and network operators currently adopt a ‘one store for all' approach although platform-specific and on-device stores stand the best chance of success, as far as mobile games are concerned." [FierceMobileContent]

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