Android, iOS expected to take additional market share from gaming handhelds

By on June 14, 2013, 7:30 AM

A new joint report from research firms App Annie and International Data Corporation reveals that Android and iOS will continue to eat away at market share once owned solely by portable game consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita.

Specifically, the duo forecast that Android will gain a full 10 percent of the install base by 2014 to top out at just shy of 60 percent of the total market. iOS will increase its reach by a modest two percent and finish a hair over 20 percent. All other smartphone and tablet operating systems are expected to see a one point drop while pure portable game consoles will lose a whopping 11 percent of their install base. At that point, iOS will outpace handhelds for the first time ever.

We’re also told that the total install base of mobile / portable devices used for gaming is forecasted to rise from nearly 800 million units in 2012 to more than 1.2 billion by 2014, good for a 55 percent increase.

Those interested in free-to-play mobile games may be interested to learn that microtransactions will make up 51 percent of total revenue this year. Offering users a free game then charging them for in-game items or upgrades has proven to be incredibly successful – perhaps more than anyone could have envisioned.

Given the figures, most would conclude that the average gamer would spend more on gaming apps than titles for dedicated handhelds. That’s not true, however, according to the two firms. In fact, average revenue per user is actually on the rise with handhelds but will it be enough to keep them alive?

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