Let’s cut to the chase… the iPhone has been huge.
Well, in only 18 months it’s become clear that Apple is having a field day with the iPhone. They’ve smashed their 10M mark prediciton for CY08, the iPhone ranks highest in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power and Associates, it is now outselling all Windows mobile phones combined and nipping at RIM’s heels, and Apple’s just getting started. So much for:
“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” -Palm CEO Ed Colligan
Many have also noticed that Apple is making a BIG push on games as well, but I’m not sure the potential here has been fully understood. The iPhone isn’t simply transforming the mobile phone market, it’s expanding it to a mobile computing, mobile gaming, mobile web surfing, mobile just-about-anything-you-can-think-of market, and it’s going to be big.
Take the recent figures from NPD on gaming console sales. As usual, Arstechinca has a nice write up about the shear dominance of Nintendo in the market.
But what about the iPhone? Let’s take a look at how iPhone/iPod touch sales compare to the market dominating Nintendo DS. Conveniently, the sales figures for the DS were also much easier to come by.
We can take away a few key points from this:
- Last quarter iPhone sales were on par with the DS.
- iPhone sales are expected to continue to grow rapidly, far faster than the DS.
- Add in sales of iPod touches as well and Nintendo suddenly has a force to reckon with. We can’t know the exact number for sure because Apple doesn’t breakdown iPod sales by model. However, assuming a conservative 10-15% of iPods sold are touches accounts for an additional 5 to 8 million gaming devices in peoples’ hands.
We’ll see what happens in the coming months but at this point Apple appears to have struck another chord, this time in gaming. The seamless integration of the App Store, iTunes, and device, coupled with the processing power, motion/touch control, over the air downloads, and location based services seems to have hit the mark.
As Arstechnica concluded “We’ve seen the future of gaming, and it is casual.” Quite frankly, this fits perfectly with gaming on the go with the iPhone & iPod touch.
For more reading, John Gruber has an excellent analysis and summary of Apple’s new “third leg” for the company.