The inaugural publication of the Portable Gaming Report compiled by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and App Annie found that, at year end 2012, Android was installed on 54 percent of smartphones, with iOS installed on only 18 percent and BlackBerry trailing behind at 8 percent.
In the gaming world, the number of handheld packaged game shipments weighed in at approximately 120 million; of which Nintendo 3DS games sales stole 40 percent of the market, with Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Vita games sales together accounting for a 27 percent.
The IDC estimates over 20 billion games were downloaded to smartphone and tablet platforms worldwide in 2012.
Announcing the inaugural publication Bertrand Schmidt, chief executive officer of App Annie, highlighted the lack of research and data pertaining to the portable gaming sector.
“The App Annie and IDC partnership and resulting Portable Gaming Report provides a broad picture of the gaming industry in order to inform business and investment strategies across gaming devices, platforms and regions... The marriage of App Annie’s leading app store market data with IDC’s worldwide video game and entertainment physical shipment data allows for industry insights not currently available to the various portable gaming stakeholders.”
Revealing results of research into games download trends for the fourth quarter, the report shows that more than a third of iOS App Store and Google Play Store downloads were games, while between 60 and 80 percent of consumer spending on these stores was attributable to games.
The combined spending on games via the iOS and Google Play App Stores was higher than consumer spending on dedicated handheld games, including both Nintendo and Sony packaged and digital games sales.
Notably, consumer spending on dedicated handheld games was very much season-linked in 2012, with over 60 percent of fourth quarter spending taking place in December.
However, a negligible portion of total portable games sales - including iOS App Store and Google Play sales - took place in Africa. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the majority of sales, with the report concluding Japan and South Korea were in particular responsible for driving growth across 2012.