Mobile Gaming Apps Study Concludes that iPad Dominates Mobile Device Gaming

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Australian mobile app builder, SmarterApps, concurs with study and explains what this means to app developers in an inspirational and eye-opening blog post.

Smarter Apps

Smarter Apps

Maybe it’s time for the mobile app development industry to take a look in the mirror and start providing apps for an underserved demographic.

Recently, mobile gaming website PlayFirst commissioned Magid Media to do a study on tablet and smartphone gaming trends. The study came from 2,540 mobile device users between 8 and 64 years old. The demographics mimicked those of the latest US census. For the most part, the numbers confirmed what many industry insiders have known for a long time, but there was a twist that was surprising to many, both inside and outside of the mobile apps development industry.

The main trend confirmed by the study is that tablet gamers buy more apps than smartphone gamers. Games have become the most profitable content made for tablets. Tablets have become the centre of attention in many homes, defeating the television for that position.

The biggest spenders on tablets are iPad users, who are more likely to play games, buy games, and purchase virtual goods within game apps. In a parallel finding, the biggest spenders on smartphones are iPhone users. The most spending on tablets comes from in-game virtual goods. The average customer who purchases in-game virtual goods spends $62 a year, while the same number is $25 on smartphones.

The study has a lot of other numbers, but the only numbers that were any real surprise were those regarding male and female demographics. While numbers haven’t been tabulated, it can be safely said that most mobile game developers concentrate on kids or the 15-30 year old male demographic. The numbers are listed on both the study and on the SmarterApps blog post, but when the math is completed, they show that 68.8% more female tablet users bought games than their male counterparts.

Craig Aitken, Owner and Director of SmarterApps, finds this to be the biggest eye-opener from the survey: “I keep a watchful eye on the mobile apps business, and, to be blunt, the numbers usually don’t surprise me. For those who are paying attention, the trends are usually quite predictable, even if the numbers vary a bit. The enthusiasm of the female demographic for buying and playing tablet games is one of the most pleasant and surprising developments in a long time.”

Aitken continued, “In our time as mobile app builders, we have seen a lot at SmarterApps. One trait we have seen in many successful mobile app developers is a kind of tunnel vision that is usually the result of tremendous drive. While that drive and vision are often what make people great, sometimes it’s easy to get a bit lost, and forget that there is an entire world out there of people who want apps and games for their mobile devices.”

Aitken elaborated, “It appears that this may be the case here. In our industry’s zeal to serve those we perceive to be our best customers, it looks like we may be underserving the female demographic. The fact that females are buying and playing more games, even though most games seem to be aimed at the male demographic, speaks volumes for their strength as a market segment.”

Aitken concluded, “Maybe it’s time for the mobile app development industry to take a look in the mirror and start providing apps for an underserved demographic.”

SmarterApps is a mobile app builder with extensive experience serving iPad, iPhone, and Android game developers. For more information and to reference the original blog post mentioned here, here is a link to their website: You may also call them at 1300 650 253.

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Craig Aitken
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