iPhone Users Far More Likely to Download Games and Apps

A new report from ComScore confirms what many mobile developers have already figured out. iPhone and iPod Touch users appear to be far more likely to download games than other smartphone users.

ComScore notes that mobile phone gaming has increased 17% over the previous year thanks to the growth of mobile handhelds like the iPhone. Specifically, 32.4% of iPhone users have downloaded a game, compared to a market average of only 3.8% amongst other manufacturers. In all, iPhone users were responsible for 14% of all mobile game downloads last year. While the article doesn't specify, the finding seems even more significant in that the App Store was only in existence for 6 months out of 2008.

This finding, however, is not limited to just games on the iPhone. A Businessweek blog post reported on data from Pelago CEO Jeff Holden. Holden crunched the numbers and found that the current base of 13 million iPhone owners had already downloaded as much software as the equivalent of 1.1 billion other cell phone owners. He summaries his point well:

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.

These findings are, of course, driving ongoing app development for the iPhone platform. The current count of apps has already reached over over 17,000 according to AppShopper.com.

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