Data & Research

Share of US smartphone and tablet owners downloading games more than doubles in last 3 years, reports Park Associates

Up from 8% to 18% in 2011

Share of US smartphone and tablet owners downloading games more than doubles in last 3 years, reports Park Associates
The fact a vast number of readers clicking on this story will have done so via a smartphone or tablet serves to prove just how quickly the mobile sector has expanded in recent years.

As a result, it's hardly surprising that the number of apps – and, in particular, games – users are engaging with on such devices has been rising accordingly.

A study from research firm Parks Associates claims the share of US consumers downloading games to smartphones and tablets has grown in tandem with the number of devices in the market, jumping from 7 percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2011.

Freemium wins

Park believes this growth, coupled with the rise of the freemium model, will drive app revenue in future years.

"In-app purchases greatly expand monetisation of the free-to-play model, thanks to seamless payments," said research analyst Pietro Macchiarella of the firm's latest white paper, Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games.

"Already, most of the top grossing games on iTunes and Android can be downloaded for free and generate the majority of their revenues via virtual purchases.

"While mobile players are often characterised as 'casual gamers,' they spend a comparable amount of money on free-to-play titles as their peers spend on console games."

The study also found that, among tablet owners, 71 percent of adults and 79 percent of teenagers play games for at least one hour a month.

[source: Parks Associates]

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.

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