A new report from ComScore shows that over the past year, downloads of mobile games increased by 17%. Naturally, a huge reason for this increase is the ever-growing popularity of smartphones, which are significantly more geared towards gaming than regular voice phones.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that iPhone users are seemingly downloading games at a rate that’s almost astronomically higher than any other group of phone users. As noted by Philip Elmer-DeWitt over at Fortune, 17 million iPhone users “downloaded as many applications as 1.6 billion other cell phone users.” To put that statistic into perspective, Jeff Holden of Pelago software noted early last January:
To a developer, what this means is that if he launches an app for non-iPhones, he needs to have a reach 94 times as large as the reach he needs in the iPhone community 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.
Incredibly, the iTunes App Store still shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Just a few weeks ago Apple advertised the fact that there were 15,000 applications available in the app store. Now, there are almost 19,500 apps, with games comprising nearly 25% of all available applications.