updated 12:30 pm EDT, Wed April 14, 2010
Study shows feature phones dying in games
Smartphones are upturning the mobile gaming market, comScore found in a study today. The number of players on iPhones and other smartphones has jumped 60 percent in the past year to almost 21.4 million and has cut deeply into the portion of those using regular cellphones. Their numbers dropped a sharp 35 percent over the same period to just 29.5 million.
Smartphone owners were also much more likely to be interested in gaming, not only playing more often but taking more interest in game genres as a whole. About 47.1 percent of smartphone owners play at least one game per month versus 15.7 percent on feature phones; 13.3 percent of those smartphone owners play every day. Most of the gaming habits skewed towards puzzles and traditional board games, but the usage rates across smartphone users were in all cases multiple times larger.
Much of the switch stemmed from a move towards a "higher quality experience," according to the findings. Smartphones often have larger screens and faster processors, especially in graphics, and tend to have full operating systems with true native apps where feature phones are often limited to simpler BREW and Java.
The iPhone is known to have the largest gaming catalog available so far but has lately been joined by Android, where games still form a large portion of the app library. Symbian and webOS have moderate proportions of games relative to their markets, but work-oriented smartphone platforms like BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have usually had low game counts.