Report: iPhone Driving Mobile Games Industry

We’ve seen plenty of anecdotal evidence that the iPhone (along with a select handful of other smartphones) is consolidating its control of the mobile games business by the day. Research firm ComScore has the numbers to back it up: according to its latest report, iPhone owners are downloading games at eight times the pace of feature phone owners!

Yes, that’s right–fully 32.4% of iPhone owners downloaded a game in November 2008, as opposed to the (absymal) market average of 3.8%, and the iPhone accounted for 14% of all US mobile games downloads in that month. The report goes on to mention that the number of smartphones appearing on the Top 10 list for mobile downloads jumped from zero to six from 2007 to 2008, booting popular feature phones like the Motorola RAZR from the top of the downloading heap.

All in all, the number of customers downloading a smartphone game grew by near 300% year-over-year, while feature phones shrank by 14%.

“As the mobile phone has evolved into a better platform for both playing and merchandising games, the games being offered have also been improved, drawing in a broader user base,” observed Mark Donovan, ComScore Senior Analyst. “Over the past year, we have seen mobile gaming expand into a broadening demographic, with strongest growth among teens, who previously eschewed their mobile device in favor of handheld gaming devices, and those 35 and older.”

We’ve known for months that mobile gaming on feature phones is a dead letter… but Donovan’s last comment about handheld gaming devices can’t make Nintendo and Sony happy, either.

[from via MocoNews]

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