While Apple will no doubt be worried about the scores of mobile-based challengers the iPhone is going to have to contend with over the next few years (Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 currently generating headlines aplenty the world over), the giant can be pleased with the ground it’s made on its handheld gaming rivals.
If analytics firm Flurry’s latest statistics are to believed, the iPhone has already unseated Sony’s PSP in the US. In its latest blog post, the firm claims that the iPhone and iPod Touch now account for 19 percent of all handheld game software-generated revenue across the United States last year, putting it ahead of the PSP, which had just 11 percent.
The figure represents a surge of 14 percent based on Flurry’s statistics for the previous year, the mighty DS still leading the charge with a whopping 70 percent share. However, that represents a fall of 5 percent from 2008, while the iPhone is the only format to make gains.
“With these figures, our main finding is that iPhone (and iPod Touch) is a gaming platform to be reckoned with,” Flurry’s Peter Farago says on the firm’s blog.
“From what we calculate, consumers are downloading iPhone games in droves. Comparing iPhone against Sony and Nintendo games sales shows that Apple has taken nearly one fifth of the portable market in 2009, largely at the expense of Sony PSP. With Sony PSP Go, Sony’s latest effort to revive its portable sales, having fallen short of expectations, Sony finds itself now challenged by two competitors in this segment.”
It doesn’t end there, either, with Farrago stating his belief that the iPad’s debut on April 3 could further push the market in Apple’s direction.
“With the iPad featuring a larger screen and more processing power, games on the tablet take a step closer to PC and console gaming. Unless the other major video game platform providers (i.e., Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft) respond accordingly, Apple could continue to roll up video game market share.”