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The iPhone is already quite the popular thing around the world. The phone helps to move massive amounts of mobile apps every single month from nearly every corner of the world. Something you may not have known, though, is that Japanese gamers actually spend more money on iPhone apps than American gamers.
According to data from NewZoo, as revealed by CEO and co-founder Peter Warman, the breakdown on market share growth across the app sector took everyone by surprise when it was revealed that Japan has surpassed America in spending money on iPhone game apps.
According to the article...
Considering the explosive growth over the last months, we anticipate iPhone game revenues in Japan to exceed $1bn this year. In August, Google Play game revenues were slightly higher than those of iOS securing Japans’ position as the world leader in Google Play game spending.
Interestingly enough, Koreans seem to prefer Google's Android over Apple's iPhone, as more Koreans spend more money on Google's OS and their games from the Google Play Store than they do on Apple's iPhone. Germany and Spain also share Korea's passion for all things Android, as those two countries also show a slant in market share with app spending on Google Play items over iOS apps.
Apple also secures a comfortable lead over its Android rivals thanks to support from China, which has been a key target market for the iPhone brand over the past two years – so much so that they decided to do a simultaneous release of the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in China, as opposed to waiting several months later like they did with the original iPhone 5.
The stats regarding mobile market growth shouldn't be too surprising given that analysts have estimated that mobile gaming has helped move gaming as a pastime into the mainstream arena (though I guess they ignore stuff like The Sims, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty).
Additional reports also point to mobile apps reaching more than 160 billion app downloads by 2017 and majority of that stake will encroach upon the dedicated portable gaming sector, with analysts estimating that more revenue and gamers will be dedicated to casual mobile devices over portables such as the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita by the time 2016 rolls around.
Sony's president of studios, Shuhei Yoshida, lamented the incline of mobile app spending overshadowing the presence of dedicated handhelds. PlayStation Lifestyle reported on an interview the gaming guru had with US Gamer, where the question of how badly mobile devices have hurt the dedicated portable gaming arena arose, and Shuhei responded saying...
Hm, hmm. How badly? Quite badly. It’s a matter of convenience. People carry their smartphones with them all the time. The tablet is there at home. So it’s hard to compete with something that easy that people already own. We have to provide a really great value proposition. We have to provide something special when we bring out our portable gaming platforms.
Given that the Japanese gaming market is all-in on the iPhone, with other territories jumping in on the market share bandwagon, I imagine mobile devices could look like a scary thing for companies still working on proprietary portable hardware. This news rings especially hard considering how strong the Japanese consumer market is when it comes to handheld gaming, and how they're now shifting to mobile gaming.
On the upside for a company like Nintendo, they at least have exclusive software for the 3DS and 2DS to continue to force people to buy the hardware in order to play the software.
(Main image courtesy of Wired)