New Research Shows Apple Still Winning the Video Game War Against Android

John Gaudiosi, Contributor

Newzoo has revealed key insights into mobile gaming in the US market as part of a fresh study of markets in Germany, France, the UK and US. Among findings about the American market is that the number of mobile gamers in the US has grown from 75 million to 101 million, of which 69% plays on smartphones and 21% on tablets.

The largest growth can be found in the conversion to paying players. The number of paying players has grown 35% to 37 million Americans, or 36% of all mobile gamers. This shows that mobile gaming is set for another year of double-digit revenue growth in the US. While mobile gaming preferences between the US and European countries differ, revenue share clearly angles in favor of iOS games over Android in all countries. American players spend in total five times more on iOS games than on Android games.

These insights are based on a fresh round of National Gamers Surveys that involved 17,000 respondents, in combination with monthly iOS and Android game revenue and download data of the top 200 grossing games, a service provided by Newzoo in cooperation with Distimo.

iOS versus Android

Of all American mobile gamers, 19 million play on an iPhone, which is 28% of all smartphone gamers. An additional 18 million plays games on an iPod Touch. In the tablet gaming space, the iPad is dominant with a share of 60%, or 12.7 million Americans. Apple’s position is strongest when it comes to revenues.

' class="size-medium wp-image-1708 alignleft dimensions_initialized" data-orig-height=225 data-orig-width=300>In March 2012, all iOS devices combined earned 84% of mobile revenues generated by the top 200 grossing games in the three stores combined: iPad, iPhone/iPod App Store and Google PlayStore. For both Android and iOS devices, the majority of money is not spent on downloading games but within the games:  an astonishing 91% for Android and 91% for iOS games. This share is significantly higher in the US than in Germany and France, where figures are between 73% and 87%. The comparison does not include advertising revenues.

“When analyzing Apple’s successful monetization, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience,” said Newzoo CEO Peter Warman. “I can hardly imagine any other company in the world that would be able to get away with this, including Google andMicrosoft. Facebook can come a long way, but Amazon clearly has the best chance and is proving this as we speak.”

“The Kindle Fire, being the runner-up tablet in the US only three months after launch, has single-handedly doubled Android’s share of revenues in the US compared to European countries,” said Warman. “It will do the same in the UK soon after launch, but the rest of Europe might be a different story. Now that we have monthly revenue insight into game revenues across both Apple’s App Stores as well as Google PlayStore we will soon be able to report on this. And after that, there is Mac versus PC apps, and then finally… the battle for the TV. Exciting times.”

US versus other countries

Overall trends are similar for the western countries involved in the study, however there still are some significant differences when it comes to game preferences. Americans have massively switched to playing games on smartphones and tablets, with only 19% still using a regular phone for playing games. (URL Source:


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