Data & Research

More iPhone gaming stats than you can shake a stick at

More iPhone gaming stats than you can shake a stick at
What was that thing about lies, damned lies and statistics again? There's no shortage of numbers on the iPhone gaming market, whether cold hard facts or speculation on the part of analysts and market researchers.

We thought we'd collate a bunch of 'em. All the stats below are taken from reports or research issued in 2009, to ensure they're as current as possible.

Besides Apple's own sales figures, we've got stats and estimates on game and app downloads, consumer demographics and behaviour, and some stuff on advertising performance too.

Enjoy! Where possible we've provided links to previous stories, which in turn will have links back to the source of the figures.


During its WWDC keynote in June 2009, Apple said that it had sold more than 40 million iPhones and iPod touches globally.

The last time it split out this figure was at the iPhone 3.0 software unveiling in March 2009, when Apple said that by the end of 2008, it had sold 17 million iPhones and 13 million iPod touches.

The cumulative iPhone (not iPod touch) sales are shown in the graph below:

According to Gartner, Apple doubled its share of the smartphone market share 5.4 per cent in 2007 to 10.8 per cent in 2008.

In Apple's fiscal Q2, which ended on 28th March 2009, it sold 3.79 million iPhones and 11.01 million iPods – the latter figure includes the App Store capable iPod touch, but not exclusively so.


Screen Digest claims that iPhone was responsible for 10 per cent of US and Canadian mobile game sales in 2008 – around $100 million in revenue.

This is backed up by a report from Strategy Analytics in May 2009, which claimed that the App Store accounted for 12 per cent of the mobile applications market (i.e not just games) in 2008, in terms of volumes.

The same report said that Apple's share of application revenues is less than 12 per cent, though, due to the high number of free and sub-$1 apps in the App Store.

In February, comScore claimed that iPhone accounted for 14 per cent of all people who downloaded a mobile game, despite iPhone only having a 1.1 per cent market share globally.

How much money did Apple make from that? In May 2009, Lightspeed Venture Partners did some calculations based on the first billion iPhone app downloads, estimating that they had generated total revenues of between $70 and $160 million, based on only 25-60 million of those billion downloads being paid for, at a median price of $2.65.

A survey conducted by Compete in April 2009 found that 83 per cent of iPhone owners have downloaded at least six apps, but claimed they tend to spend a bit less on average on individual applications.


During Apple's WWDC keynote speech in June, it announced that there are now more than 50,000 apps on the App Store.

Analysis of the first 25,000 iPhone apps by 148apps in March 2009 revealed that the most popular price point was $0.99, which applied to around 40 per cent of apps on the store.

Free was the next most popular price point, applying to around 24 per cent. The premier $9.99 price point was only used for around 3 per cent of apps on the store.

Separate research in February from Mobclix claimed that 76.7 per cent of iPhone games are paid, while 23.3 per cent are free.

Mobclix also dug into games genres on the App Store, finding that puzzle games were by far the biggest category, accounting for 19.1 per cent of iPhone games.

The next most popular genres were Arcade (21.6 per cent), Action (20.8 per cent) and Family (15.9 per cent).


In June 2009, Nielsen estimated that nearly 75 per cent of US iPhone users are downloading applications, and that a whopping 98 per cent are using the handset's data features.

The same survey looked at the demographics of iPhone owners in the US, and found that the largest age group was 35-54 year-olds, who account for 36 per cent of owners. The 55+ group even outweighs 18- to 24-year-olds, as shown below.

In terms of gender split, comScore has estimated that 75 per cent of UK iPhone users are male, compared to 65 per cent for smartphones in general.

More on games downloading: comScore estimates that in January 2009, 37 per cent of UK iPhone owners downloaded a game, with 18.6 per cent actually paying to do so. That compares well with the 5.6 per cent of other smartphone owners who bought a mobile game in January, and the woeful 2.7 per cent of non-smartphone owners.

iPhone is clearly still a consumer device. In April 2009, Compete surveyed 600 smartphone users, and found that 73 per cent of iPhone owners used it primarily for personal reasons – compared to the 59 per cent of other smartphone owners who use their devices mainly for work or business.


Research from Brightkite and Gfk in May 2009 suggested that iPhone owners are nearly twice as likely to remember seeing adverts within games than non-iPhone owners.

Specifically, 7.1 per cent of iPhone users surveyed remembered seeing ads in games, versus 3.7 per cent of non-iPhone users.

What about actual click-throughs? iPhone advertising and metrics firm Medialets reported in April 2009 that it was seeing ad click-through rates of between 1 and 9 per cent from iPhone apps.

Meanwhile, AdMob released figures in January this year claiming that free iPhone apps have an average conversion rate of 10 per cent, versus just 1 per cent for paid apps.  The same research found that games generate up to 100 per cent more conversions than non-game apps at similar price points.


Finally, in April 2009, Apple published a chart of the Top 20 paid and free iPhone apps of all time. It's reproduced below in full.

Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)


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