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iPhone Users Far More Likely to Download Games and Apps

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.

Article Link: iPhone Users Far More Likely to Download Games and Apps
 

habubauza

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2008
106
0
The iPhone has definitely turned into an industry game changer. No pun intended. I never download games yet I already have several on my iPhone. I must admit when the iPhone first came out I never thought it would be as successful as it is, but surprise, Steve Jobs as a technology visionary proves his worth time and time again.
 
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Bonte

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2002
1,001
206
Bruges, Belgium
There should be an OSX app store

IMHO it won't happen soon, maybe a centralized DRM service but there are to many osX version to make it simple enough. A widget appstore would be a possibility but who installs extra widgets and pay for them?
 
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PCMacUser

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2005
1,698
22
It's interesting how successful this concept has been. When Steam was first launched 6 years ago and offered online application (games) purchasing and delivery for the PC, people first frowned at the idea. Now Steam is one of the most successful content delivery services on the 'net. And Apple has taken this same idea and made it work for a smartphone. That's good thinking.
 
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boonlar

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2008
259
0
It's interesting how successful this concept has been. When Steam was first launched 6 years ago and offered online application (games) purchasing and delivery for the PC, people first frowned at the idea. Now Steam is one of the most successful content delivery services on the 'net. And Apple has taken this same idea and made it work for a smartphone. That's good thinking.

yep apple ripped off valve
 
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iWizzard

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2007
138
0
32.4 % is shockingly low.

I would have expected 80-90% would have downloaded a free game just to test.


Then it is wrong to compare it to the entire smartphone market. Most phones dont care about games att all. For example 0% of Iphone users has edited a word document on the iphone.

It will be interesting to se what the numbers will be in a year when adroid and maby palm pre* has been out for a while started to be stablished

*if palm give full acces to the phones hardwere via the SDK.
 
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Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,429
12,242
UK
32.4 % is shockingly low.

I would have expected 80-90% would have downloaded a free game just to test.

I think 32.4% shows the survey is flawed, given 500 million downloads to at most 50 million or so devices you'd expect it to be far higher than that. Even extreme junkies like me have only downloaded 50-60 apps (including updates).
 
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Veri

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
611
0
Game downloads won't necessarily reflect app downloads. Apple have - quite intentionally, if their advertising is anything to go by - created a very popular toy, i.e. gaming platform. Developers not writing games would be dumb to use these stats to decide to write for the iPhone.

Actually, even game developers would be naive to use these stats to rush to the iPhone. During a gold rush, the only one with a high chance of getting rich is the guy selling the shovels, i.e. Apple. What you're entering is a highly competitive market in which you have little control. Your market's figures are also distorted by how easy it is to make free downloads, plus the novelty value of a highly advertised feature (new buyers are likely to make many more app downloads, which means that iPhone purchasing must go up to stop game purchases going down). If you simply want to make a quick buck off a huge volume of kids, you're better off selling ringtones.

Anyway, 30% of 13 million = around 4 million iPhone users have downloaded (mostly free) games. About 4% of 250 million = 10 million Other mobile phone users in total have downloaded games. Let's be generous and pretend that all iPhone games were paid for, like on most Other platforms. Let's further double the iPhone figure to reflect the existence of the app store for only 6 months (another generous calculation, as trends indicate that purchasing has been significantly higher for all platforms in the past 6 months). 8 million iPhone downloads vs 10 million Other downloads. If I target Other, I will (making the daft assumption that everyone who downloads games will download my game) achieve 25% higher sales than if I target iPhone. I need only even consider 0.8 * 250MM = 200MM Other users, which is 200/13 = 15 times the number of iPhone users. I've obviously done something wrong. Can someone refine that into Holden's 94x "reach" argument where I need a market of 1.6 billion Other, please?

As usual, research your own customer base rather than reading the predictable reports designed to stimulate interest in the properties of the guys commissioning the report.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
More proof of the genius of the App store idea.

Exactly. It's not the user, it's the App Store. I've owned plenty of Palm-based smartphone and rarely did I ever bother to install new apps. First b/c many Palm PDA apps acted flaky in the Palm phones, but also b/c browsing apps and also installing them was a ginormous PITA.

The way the app store is set up, and how the iPhone works w/ it makes it like a kid in a candy store. Plus w/ many great apps a $2 or less it's cheaper than a cup of coffee @ Starbucks. I do wish Apple would allow developers to post more screenshot of apps, or even better video.
 
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kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,628
288
This is sort of like a "no sh*t, Sherlock" article. I guess it just puts what everybody probably already knows into writing. This just goes to show that putting all apps in one easily accessible place is the way to do good business. I don't believe it is an intrinsic trait of the iPhone user to download applications for their cellphones. It's the App Store.
 
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freediverdude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2006
573
0
Well the report states the obvious- that people are much more likely to download an app or game on the iphone than on other phones.

The question now is, whether other manufacturers like RIM and Palm will be able to get their app stores up and running quickly enough, and become popular enough, to stop the iPhone from becoming another iPod type of market share. They're going to have to act quickly.

Edited to add: And I think this summer for the Pre may already be too late. By then, the hype for the next iPhone being out, and the app store growing exponentially, will be too much. The Pre *just starting* an app store with a few hundred apps at a time when the iPhone store will already be over 20,000 and growing by then, will be too late. The hardware won't make the difference, but it will be the app store and ease of use. In my opinion, in order to have any chance, the Pre would have had to have been out right now with their app store up and running right now.
 
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Sander

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2008
486
14
There should be an OSX app store

I think so too. Having a central repository of Mac software, easy to access from the Mac itself, would be very nice. Receiving notifications via that app store of new updates, similar software, etc. would be great.

Since developers would have to spend much less on advertizing their apps, software prices could drop significantly. It would also greatly enhance the "impulse buy" type of purchase.

It could be "game changing", and we could see prices of "desktop-type" applications go down to iPhone app levels.

I'm actually surprised they aren't doing this yet. They could take 30% of every app sold there, and developers would still earn more than today.
 
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martychang

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2007
191
0
...And we still can't download files from our web browsers, or manage our own filesystems.

Even with a jailbreak it's only acceptable, not on par with other platforms(particularly WinMo, old PalmOS, and S60. We'll see how the new Palm WebOS does.)
 
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iFreshle

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2009
5
0
When I come to class in the morning, I see what my teacher has downloaded, and then show him what I have downloaded. When I think about the iPhone, it is definitely true that no iPhone is the same. Gaming on the iPhone is fun, but has its boring moments. I do enjoy having a selection of great free games, rather than the typical crappy ones on a standard cellular phone.
 
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Prometheus2000

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2008
82
0
Remove barriers....

I think the most important difference which sets the iPhone apart from other "smartphones" that it is so simple to use, that includes the App Store. The "always online" feature alone convinced me to buy that thing back in good old Nov 2007. No dial ins like on my E61 then anymore...

I guess Apple just figured out the easy fact that usability is always more important then impressive and long list of features.

Why huge companies like Microsoft, who have their mobile OS around for what, like 8/9 years already, couldn't just have a team set up to give WinMob a good user interface and something like the app store is beyond me.

But then, it shows how much they really care for their product.

How was the phrase, "Arrogance goes before the fall", well look here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=C5oGaZIKYvo

:)
 
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lowbatteries

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2008
220
3
Then it is wrong to compare it to the entire smartphone market. Most phones dont care about games att all. For example 0% of Iphone users has edited a word document on the iphone.

I've edited a word document on my iPhone, thank you very much. http://appshopper.com/business/documents

Dear oh dear. How about iphone users are less likely to use their iphone as a navigation device....

I constantly use my iPhone as a navigation device. So does everyone else I know who has one.

...And we still can't download files from our web browsers, or manage our own filesystems.

Even with a jailbreak it's only acceptable, not on par with other platforms(particularly WinMo, old PalmOS, and S60. We'll see how the new Palm WebOS does.)

I agree with this one. I'm surprised the jailbreak community hasn't made this easier. Then again this is one of the reasons the iPhone is so successful. Because the UI feels simple, solid, predictable, and un-breakable.

I guess Apple just figured out the easy fact that usability is always more important then impressive and long list of features.

Yep. 'Power users' often forget this fact. I see my non-power-user family shopping for electronics, lining up all the feature lists on the boxes and picking the one with the longest list and highest numbers, even though they have no idea what any of them are.
 
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zamyatin

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2003
137
0
NYC
Platform App Stores

There should be an OSX app store

I had been thinking about this a few years ago, after having good experiences with Linux software repositories. It seemed to me that building a repository system targeted at Mac and Windows users could help to spread open source applications much more quickly if they were prominently featured, as well as shareware apps and eventually major proprietary programs too. The group that controls the gateway can have a lot of influence on what its users discover, and can also make money through the service of distributing software.

I wrote some notes on it on my site: http://www.solidoffice.com/smith

Seeing the iTunes App Store makes me feel it was a good idea, and I still think it could work for both Mac and Windows.

The key is that most users (non-geeks) have a hard time installing software, and an even harder time finding good software. An app store eliminates those major barriers.
 
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martychang

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2007
191
0
I've edited a word document on my iPhone, thank you very much.

I agree with this one. I'm surprised the jailbreak community hasn't made this easier. Then again this is one of the reasons the iPhone is so successful. Because the UI feels simple, solid, predictable, and un-breakable.



Yep. 'Power users' often forget this fact. I see my non-power-user family shopping for electronics, lining up all the feature lists on the boxes and picking the one with the longest list and highest numbers, even though they have no idea what any of them are.

Indeed, but if it doesn't do what you want it isn't easy to use: it's impossible to use. That suite you linked is nice, but it doesn't have full support for the office formats, which essentially puts us back to WinMo 2003 era, when you converted between mobile and desktop formats. Compare to Documents To Go on the old PalmOS where you have desktop class document creation an editing with full formatting tools.

Ease of Operation, Stability, Functionality: pick two. That's smartphones today and Apple could change that if they'd just loosen their belt buckle a bit. If someone is satisfied with how it currently is, they don't have to install those techie applications.
 
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Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,443
4,953
Los Angeles
I'm surprised that only "32.4% of iPhone users have downloaded a game", especially since so many games are free. Have the other 67.6% never looked at the app store, despite all the Apple commercials? Are they business users who are uninterested in games? Did they get iPhones only for apps of other types? Do they have trouble with the mechanics of downloading? Are they so picky that they haven't seen any apps they like yet? Is their iPhone merely their phone, merely their iPod, or merely their web browser, with no other use tempting them?
 
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