The iPhone, which was initially meant to be a smartphone, wasn’t meant to support third-party apps. But Apple did launch an SDK and App Store soon after its launch, and it has turned out very well. Wanting to emulate its success, Android also followed on the heels of iOS and launched the Android Market.
As the App Store became popular, game developers flocked to the platform and started churning out cheaply priced games priced at $0.99, $1.99 etc. Soon after that, big game studios started launching major game titles for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. As Android started to pick up steam, many games were developed for it as well.
Both the platforms have been very lucrative for game and app developers, and have made many millionaires, like Rovio Mobile, the creator of Angry Birds, and others.
Games have become a huge growth driver for both iOS and Android, and they have also captured quite a large portion of the portable gaming market. While the portable gaming market actually shrank in percentage terms in 2010, iOS and Android have increased their share of it. iOS + Android now accounts for 34% of the total revenues in portable gaming, while the PSP’s share has shrunk to 9% and the Nintendo DS’ share has been whittled down to 57%.
Since these statistics are in terms of revenues, iOS and Android would actually have a greater proportion of the market in terms of download numbers, since most of the games on these platforms are priced relatively low, compared to the PSP and Nintendo DS. The total revenue generated by iOS and Android games was close to $816 million, while the entire market generated about $2.4 billion.
With the launch of more powerful Android devices like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, and the excellent gaming prowess of the iPad 2, iOS and Android will likely capture a larger share in the future, bringing mobile gaming to the masses.
Statistics via Flurry