Mobile shipments up 11 percent in 2010 as handsets threaten console dominance

Handhelds fall by 2.5 percent year on year

Mobile shipments up 11 percent in 2010 as handsets threaten console dominance
Market research firm iSuppli has fired a warning shot across the bow of console focused developers, claiming the rise of the mobile industry could detract from console hardware sales over the next couple of years.

According to iSuppli's figures, global shipments of game-capable mobile phones will hit 1.27 billion across the course of 2010 – up 11.4 percent from 2009's total of 1.14 billion.

Such growth comes as the current range of consoles on offer reach maturity, with the firm claiming shipments in 2010 will be up just 0.2 percent year on year to 52.3 million.

Handhelds are likely to fair even worse, shipments falling by 2.5 percent to 38.9 million across the course of the year.

Smartphone surge

It's this prevalence of mobile handsets that iSuppli believes will contribute to a slowdown in the growth of console shipments.

Comparatively, the firm claims smartphones are yet to reach their maturity sales wise.

"The formidable lead enjoyed by cell phones capable of gaming will continue in the years to come with no hint of decline, and their near-universal presence gives them the potential to become a viable competitive threat to dedicated gaming platforms, primarily handheld devices," said iSuppli analyst Pamela Tufegdzi.

"Although gamers who prefer a superior gaming experience will always opt for either a console or handheld, sales of both platforms tend to rise and fall based on the vagaries of product development, consumer buying patterns and economic trends."

Though iSuppli predicts a continued bright future for smartphones, the firm states the launch of Kinect and Move will help deaden the impact of a predicted slowdown in home console shipments in 2011.

[source: iSuppli]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.