You have to wonder whether those at Apple are annoyed or amused at Nintendo’s continued insistence that the giant represents no threat to its gaming business. Despite analysts such as Michael Pachter claiming Apple is becoming a major player in the industry, Nintendo still believes it need not worry about either the iPhone or iPod Touch.
The house that Mario built remains forever buoyant regarding its own fortunes and dismissive of its rivals. Nintendo of America’s VP of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway told VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi that the supposed danger offered by Apple has simply failed to materialize.
“It is interesting that for all of the talk of competition from Apple last year, here in the U.S. we had our best year ever, selling 11.2 million [Nintendo DS] units,” she claimed.
“That has never been done by any game platform ever. Consumers are still finding fun with our products, and there is a lot of room to grow. If you look at the penetration of the market, the DS franchise here in the U.S. has a long way to go. In Japan, one in two consumers has a DS. Here, it is one in four. So we have room to grow.”
Naturally, Nintendo is right to feel confident regarding its continued domination of the handheld market, as estimates suggest more than 125 million DS units currently reside in homes around the globe. However, the iPhone is comparatively fresh format on the scene, and predictions suggest its userbase could reach 80 million by 2012– and that doesn’t even account for the continued strong performance of the iPod Touch.
With the App Store growing, it’s surely not long before Nintendo acknowledges, and then reacts to, Apple’s growing gaming presence, most likely in the form of the Nintendo DS2. What’s the betting it focuses more heavily on digital downloads and tilt control?