Apple's iOS & Google Android command 58% of US portable game revenue

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Highlighting what has been a "brutal" year for dedicated portable game machines like the Sony PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS, new data shows Apple's iOS and Google Android capturing the lion's share of U.S. portable game revenue in 2011.



Mobile analytics firm Flurry revealed on Wednesday that free and inexpensive games from iOS and Android devices have taken control of the portable gaming market. Together, Google and Apple's platforms controlled 58 percent of revenue in 2011, a significant change from 2009 when the Nintendo DS commanded 70 percent of the portable industry's revenue.



"We see, for the first time, that smartphone revenue in the U.S. has leap-frogged portable game revenue," said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing with Flurry. "The disruption has been downright brutal."



The data comes soon after Nintendo reported its first loss in profits since 1982. A sharp decline in game and console sales led the Japanese game maker to lose $925 million over the six-month period ending in September.



Flurry estimates that total U.S. portable game revenue in 2011 will be $3.3 billion, up from a total of $2.7 billion in 2009. But while iOS and Android accounted for just 19 percent of the market in 2009, their share of revenue has more than tripled in the last two years.



Nintendo, meanwhile, has seen its market dominance shrink to just an estimated 36 percent of the U.S. portable gaming market in 2011, while Sony's PlayStation Portable platform is expected to represent 6 percent domestically.



"The days of paying $25, or more, for a cartridge at a retail store may soon end," Farago said. "Further, the installed base of iOS and Android devices has not only reached critical mass, but also continues to grow at unprecedented rates."



Flurry's data is based on a combination of publicly available data from the NPD Group along with its own data collected from mobile devices. Flurry Analytics tracks more than 20 billion use sessions per month across more than 125,000 applications on 330 million unique devices per month. Nearly 40 percent of the application usage sessions it tracks are from games.







The success of smartphones as gaming devices has prompted investors to encourage Nintendo to bring its popular game franchises, like Mario and Zelda, to competing platforms like the iPhone and iPad. However, Nintendo executives have refused to port their software to third-party devices and are sticking with their own hardware for first-party games.



Apple's iOS devices may even begin to encroach on traditional living room consoles as well, thanks to the new wireless AirPlay functionality built into iOS 5. With an Apple TV hooked up to a high-definition television set, an A5-powered iPhone 4S or iPad 2 can wirelessly stream content and allow users to play games on the big screen, as Firemint has done with its Real Racing franchise.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    my wife and i have iphones and an ipad 2. she was talking about a nintendo DS for the older kid. i said no way i'm spending $40 or more on games. especially with the insanity that some games you can only play once
  • Reply 2 of 45
    Why is iOS and Android lumped together but the PSP and the DS are separate? Is there a breakdown of these numbers somewhere?
  • Reply 3 of 45
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SmileyDude View Post


    Why is iOS and Android lumped together but the PSP and the DS are separate? Is there a breakdown of these numbers somewhere?



    That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.



    Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)



    I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?



    If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming
  • Reply 5 of 45
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    I want to know the breakdown iOS vs Android.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.



    It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)



    I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?



    If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming



    Yes, but still they should have broken out the two separately. Why, because they are two different devices. Since they combined iOS and Android they should have combined Nintendo and Play Station.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.



    WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 10 of 45
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.



    WP7 is pretty great. David Pogue has a nice write up on it. I'm even trying to get one of the WP7-based Nokia N9s sent to me from Finland when they come out.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    Well they are differentiating tablet/phone (computing device) with handheld system (purely gaming)



    I agree this distinction is becoming less and less relavent. I assume DS and PSP get email etc. now? with 3G?



    If not, I suppose the distinction is valid. The underlying threat of article: handheld games obsolete, portable device assimilates gaming



    The problem for both Nintendo and Sony is that there's nothing they can do to effectively compete. These game devices are so very different from phones and tablets that the only thing they could do is to turn their devices into one, and the evidence over time from some other manufacturers who tried that is that success isn't likely.



    The price would equal or exceed the platforms they would compete against, and that's a losing proposition.



    The longer Nintendo take to translate the writing on the wall, the less chance they will have to act upon it. Sales of the DS series is abysmal these days. From a high of 30 million a year for a couple of years, it looks to be no more than about 6 million this year. Adding the 3D model, it may come to 8 million. That means that people not using the old models aren't going to be replacing them, and that new people aren't buying into the system.



    They're having the same problem with their console, and the new one looks to be a problem, both technically, and perceptually. It may fail too, and it won't be out for some time. That's bad.



    This generation of gaming devices will be the last major design we'll see. Anything going forward will be just an improvement with some new features.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    WP7 - good one. Thanks, I was in need of a good laugh.



    I'm not predicting huge sales from that direction. I never have. But, it is going to be around for a while, at least. MS doesn't abandon platforms that quickly, and when they do, such as the Zune, they transform it into something else, such as WP7, and now Metro.



    So it will rack up sales. Large sales? Possibly not as a marketshare number, but big enough.



    With Nintendo's sales below 10 million a year for the DS series, and dropping, even WP7 will surpass that. Estimates for WP7 last quarter were miserable, but equaled the 1.4 million in sales for the DS, so there's nothing to laugh about in that comparison. WP7 sales will go up as DS sales go down.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Apple needs to (and I'm sure they're working on it) sign Nintendo to an exclusive deal to port games over to iOS and not to Android. It would be worth giving Nintendo a very lucrative cut of sales compared to other games makers to exclude Android from that market for 5 years.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    It would be nice to know that, but since most profitable games are deployed to both it doesn't matter much, at least to most developers and consumers.



    Actually it would be interesting. At WWDC, one game developer for a small studio had 80% of their resource supporting maintenance, porting and compatibility checks within the Android eco-system and only got 20% of their gross revenue from Android. They stay with Android simply so they could be well positioned if it ever does becomes more profitable.



    4X the effort. 1/4 the money. At some point, a game studio will simply drop the platform that is costing 16X more to support.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Apple needs to (and I'm sure they're working on it) sign Nintendo to an exclusive deal to port games over to iOS and not to Android. It would be worth giving Nintendo a very lucrative cut of sales compared to other games makers to exclude Android from that market for 5 years.



    That would be killer. The prices of Mario Kart, etc. would likely be $19.99 however.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That's what I'm thinking. It's like saying the iPad and PlayBook account for 75% of the tablet market. Sure, it's technically accurate, but it doesn't really paint an accurate picture of the landscape.



    Kind of like:

    I'll always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points.

    Said after Michael Jordan scored a career high 69 points and Stacey King scored 1 point against the Cavaliers.

  • Reply 17 of 45
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It doesn't matter for the purpose of the work that was done. They were comparing mobile phone and tablets to the mobile game franchises. At some point WP7 will have some effect as well.



    That's not what they're showing. They posted separate numbers for Nintendo and Sony, so it's not all about "conventional gaming consoles vs tablets/phones".



    Either they should have broken out iOS and Android or they should have combined Nintendo and Sony if they wanted to be consistent.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 19 of 45
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    WP7 is pretty great. David Pogue has a nice write up on it. I'm even trying to get one of the WP7-based Nokia N9s sent to me from Finland when they come out.



    You've repeatedly mentioned that, and the first couple of times I thought it was a typo, but now I think you should be careful. The Nokia N9 is not a WP7 device, but MeeGo -- the first and possibly last of its kind. The WP7 phone that is based on a similar outer shell but comes with different internals (at least different CPU) and OS is called Lumia 800. Just warning you so that you don't get scammed.



    http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/22/2...okia-n9-review



    http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/3/25...mia-800-review



    I believe you'll find the sources above trustworthy.



    To those that want an Android/iOS game revenue breakdown, my guess is 2/98 now, 70/30 in five years.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    You've repeatedly mentioned that, and the first couple of times I thought it was a typo, but now I think you should be careful. The Nokia N9 is not a WP7 device, but MeeGo -- the first and possibly last of its kind. The WP7 phone that is based on a similar outer shell but comes with different internals (at least different CPU) and OS is called Lumia 800. Just warning you so that you don't get scammed.



    I thought referring to the well known body design of the N9 with the WP7-based qualifier was more clear than calling it the Lumia 800 at this point. I can switch to Nokia Lumia.
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