iPhone/iPod Taking Sales from PSP/Nintendo
A report by Flurry Analytics
, the mobile applications research firm, shows that iPhone OS-based games are increasing rapidly in popularity, encroaching on the dominance of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. 19% of all the money spent on mobile games last year was for the iPhone or iPod, up almost four times from the previous year's total of 5%. Given that 2009 was the first full year games were available on the App Store, Flurry's analysis indicates that the increasing number of games is strongly attracting users.
"From what we calculate, consumers are downloading iPhone games in droves," Peter Farago, VP of Marketing at Flurry, wrote on the company's blog today. "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."
Flurry's report used data from Apple and from leading consumer research firm NDP
, and calculated that iPhone game revenue was $500 million US in 2009 compared with $115 million in 2008. To put this in perspective, Flurry's estimate of the total
mobile game market was $2.25 billion in 2008 and and $2.55 billion in 2009. Flurry's Farago quoted Michael Pachter, the managing director at Wedbush Morgan Securities as saying that the "iPod touch is the most dangerous thing that ever happened" to game publishers, because prices for the device itself, as well as individual games, are still coming down, bringing the device into the reach of younger and younger gamers.
The iPhone's gains came mostly at the expense of the Sony PSP, which saw its marketshare drop by almost half: from 20% in 2008 ato just over 11% in 2009. The Nintendo DS held fairly steady, dropping just 5 percentage points from 75% in 2008 to 70% in 2009. Even in the overall gaming market (which includes home consoles like Wii and Xbox), the iPhone improved its marketshare: from 1% of all game sales in 2008, the iPhone grew to to 5% last year.