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PlayFirst Study Reveals That iPad is the Champion of Mobile Gaming

Tablets and phones are vastly different devices. This seems obvious, but in reality, they really aren’t: the difference between the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 is basically different sized screens. However, the way that users, especially gamers, use the two devices is still dramatically different, according to PlayFirst, via Pocket Gamer. Tablet users are playing more games than phone users are, and they’re spending more on games.

Specifically, tablet users are outspending their phone counterparts. The average paid tablet gamer spends $62 per year on tablet games, compared to $35 per year for phone users. Tablet users also are more likely to play games than their phone counterparts, with 61% of tablet users saying they regularly play games, compared to 43% of phone users.

The study also shows that there’s a reason why free-to-play is taking off: only 10-15% of tablet users paid for games or similar entertainment content. However, 25% of tablet users did buy in-app purchases in games. Interestingly, women make up a substantial part of the tablet gaming audience, with 57% of paid tablet gamers being of the fairer sex.

iOS users are generally more likely to play games than Android users are. Only 28% of iPad users didn’t download any games in the past year, compared to 32% of Android tablet users. As well, 5% of iPad users downloaded 31 or more games, compared to 1% of Android tablet users. Even on smartphones, iPhone users are more likely to play games than Android users, 52% to 42%.

What developers can take out of this is that the iPad needs to be a focus in releasing games. There’s no reason to not try to target the iPad in a game release because those users are more likely to be playing games – and to be spending money. There may be fewer users, but they can help make up for it in volume. As well, Android remains a risk because the users have less interest in gaming than iOS. It’s possible to succeed in Android gaming, it just takes a different approach, and it does appear to be riskier than on iOS.

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Carter Dotson
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