As MacRumors reports, a recent study from ComScore reveals that iPhone and iPod touch users are far more likely to download games for their mobile device than other smartphone users, a truth that comes as little surprise to many iPhone developers out there.

ComScore indicates that gaming on mobile phones is up 17% over the previous year due to growth of mobile handsets such as the iPhone.

With its touch screen, robust processor, and 3-D graphics capabilities, it's no surprise that the iPhone 3G has been a hit with gamers. Apple iPhone owners accounted for 14% of mobile game downloads, ComScore said. Overall, 32.4% of iPhone users have downloaded a game, compared with a market average of 3.8%.

And it's not just games that are seeing huge downloads in the App Store.  Looking at the smartphone app landscape, Pelago CEO Jeff Holden determined that the current base of 13 million iPhone owners had already downloaded as much software as the equivalent of 1.1 billion owners of other mobile phones.

To a developer, what this means is that if he launches an app for non-iPhones (assuming he has deals with all carriers and has ported to every handset in distribution on which people can download apps), he needs to have a reach 94 times as large as the reach he needs in the iPhone community (which does not require any carrier deals and is via single platform, so no porting) to achieve the same number of downloads. In other words, the 13MM iPhone audience is equivalent to 13MM * 94 = 1.6 *billion* non-iPhones. Of course, we know there are only 250MM non-iPhones in the U.S., so there is no way to achieve the same effective reach inside the U.S.

According to AppShopper.com, there are already over 17,000 titles in the App Store--the largest category of which are games.  Noting that these apps have all appeared within the last six months, and looking at recent indications that Apple plans to take things to the next level by bringing a Premium Games area to the App Store, the future of mobile gaming--of iPhone and iPod touch gaming--is looking rather bright, indeed.

  • rich_952000

    Yep, I officially now have sunk more$$$ into apps & games than I pd. For this iPhone 4 months ago ($460)!

  • rich_952000

    Yep, I officially now have sunk more$$$ into apps & games than I pd. For this iPhone 4 months ago ($460)!

  • Vende

    "gaming on mobile phones is up 17% over the previous year "

    Is it just me or is that number kind of low. I mean, I don't know ANYONE who has an ipod touch or iphone that isn't now a gamer to some degree.

    ...And as I write this, I realize that ipod touches don't count as mobile phones.

  • Vende

    "gaming on mobile phones is up 17% over the previous year "

    Is it just me or is that number kind of low. I mean, I don't know ANYONE who has an ipod touch or iphone that isn't now a gamer to some degree.

    ...And as I write this, I realize that ipod touches don't count as mobile phones.

  • arn

    remember the app store only existed for 6 months out of 2008

  • arn

    remember the app store only existed for 6 months out of 2008

  • http://www.toucharcade.com Zandog

    Whats better than the article is the research done. Excellent article writing.

  • http://www.toucharcade.com Zandog

    Whats better than the article is the research done. Excellent article writing.

  • swarmster

    "Pelago CEO Jeff Holden determined that the current base of 13 million iPhone owners had already downloaded as much software as the equivalent of 1.1 billion owners of other mobile phones."

    Except it's not just 13 million iPhone owners downloading that software, but 13 million iPhone owners and probably twice that of iPod touch owners. I'm not putting down the App Store's impressive numbers, but that's a lot of talk about cell phone sales based on a store that does not differentiate between cell and non-cell purchases.

  • swarmster

    "Pelago CEO Jeff Holden determined that the current base of 13 million iPhone owners had already downloaded as much software as the equivalent of 1.1 billion owners of other mobile phones."

    Except it's not just 13 million iPhone owners downloading that software, but 13 million iPhone owners and probably twice that of iPod touch owners. I'm not putting down the App Store's impressive numbers, but that's a lot of talk about cell phone sales based on a store that does not differentiate between cell and non-cell purchases.

  • David

    My first thought when I read this was, "This seems obvious." The App store is quickly becoming a juggernaut. There are hundreds of excellent apps available already in less than a year. It's only going to get more impressive with new iPhones, software updates (PUSH), and new markets in more countries.

  • David

    My first thought when I read this was, "This seems obvious." The App store is quickly becoming a juggernaut. There are hundreds of excellent apps available already in less than a year. It's only going to get more impressive with new iPhones, software updates (PUSH), and new markets in more countries.

  • spiffyone

    As swarmster pointed out, the number seems fixated on the 13 million or so iPhone users out there, and, wrongfully, excludes or ignores iPod touch users (which happens all too often btw. note to devs, publishers and analysts: The platform is NOT the iPhone alone, but BOTH products).

    @Vende: You fell into the same trap I see ;) Please don't forget us iTouch users, and don't forget that this platform, because it has one foot in the mobile market (iPhone) and one foot not in that market. iTouch, as you stated, is not a mobile phone, and therefore isn't really counted in the mobile gaming market, and yet isn't really part of the portable market of which PSP and DS are part. The platform is the shared hardware between the two products (iTouch/Phone) and the OS. Two different products reaching two different markets, one platform. That's wholly unique in the marketplace when you think about it.

    Also, that 17% shouldn't fool you. As arn pointed out, the app store has only been here for less than a year, as you pointed out no iTouch sales are factored into the equation to which the analyst pointed, and, also, a 17% jump is pretty nice for a platform that has only been on market for less than a year and is part of one of the fastest growing segments in gaming (behind only standalone portable consoles).

  • spiffyone

    As swarmster pointed out, the number seems fixated on the 13 million or so iPhone users out there, and, wrongfully, excludes or ignores iPod touch users (which happens all too often btw. note to devs, publishers and analysts: The platform is NOT the iPhone alone, but BOTH products).

    @Vende: You fell into the same trap I see ;) Please don't forget us iTouch users, and don't forget that this platform, because it has one foot in the mobile market (iPhone) and one foot not in that market. iTouch, as you stated, is not a mobile phone, and therefore isn't really counted in the mobile gaming market, and yet isn't really part of the portable market of which PSP and DS are part. The platform is the shared hardware between the two products (iTouch/Phone) and the OS. Two different products reaching two different markets, one platform. That's wholly unique in the marketplace when you think about it.

    Also, that 17% shouldn't fool you. As arn pointed out, the app store has only been here for less than a year, as you pointed out no iTouch sales are factored into the equation to which the analyst pointed, and, also, a 17% jump is pretty nice for a platform that has only been on market for less than a year and is part of one of the fastest growing segments in gaming (behind only standalone portable consoles).

  • http://www.tootlegames.com Graham

    I can download games on my old mobile phone?!?

    *Insert condesending "water = wet" comment here*

  • http://www.tootlegames.com Graham

    I can download games on my old mobile phone?!?

    *Insert condesending "water = wet" comment here*

  • http://thehypefactor.com Adam

    It's really interesting to wonder how many of the people buying games off the iPhone that own a Xbox 360 (or PS3 etc but not so much) and compare buying usage on the markets. I used to buy a lot of content and useless junk on my Xbox 360, but have slowed down (but now I lack a job also), also with the iPhone in which I used to buy a lot.. but have slowed down also purchasing things (lack of job again). So just wondering maybe it's a phase for awhile to buy things.. but until some quality cheap games come I don't think I'm going to be buying many games for awhile. Oh, and I think the iPhone is one of the only games worth the price, 6.99 can buy pac man on a (cheaper?) set that is weak in comparison to what 6.99 can buy on the iPhone.

  • http://thehypefactor.com Adam

    It's really interesting to wonder how many of the people buying games off the iPhone that own a Xbox 360 (or PS3 etc but not so much) and compare buying usage on the markets. I used to buy a lot of content and useless junk on my Xbox 360, but have slowed down (but now I lack a job also), also with the iPhone in which I used to buy a lot.. but have slowed down also purchasing things (lack of job again). So just wondering maybe it's a phase for awhile to buy things.. but until some quality cheap games come I don't think I'm going to be buying many games for awhile. Oh, and I think the iPhone is one of the only games worth the price, 6.99 can buy pac man on a (cheaper?) set that is weak in comparison to what 6.99 can buy on the iPhone.

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