Mobile gamers are playing games across a number of devices, with Amazon’s Kindle Fire proving more popular than Android-powered tablets, according to the Portable Gaming Spotlight compiled by App Annie and IDC.

An insight into the US

App Annie and IDC broke out a range of data for US mobile and handheld game players.

During the third quarter of the year, iOS generated three times the gaming revenue in the US as Google Play, despite Android coming only just behind iOS in terms of devices favoured by gamers.


Nearly half of iOS game players preferred the iPad, with the rest split fairly evenly between the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Google Play game players generally favoured smartphones, with a much smaller proportion preferring Android tablets.

In fact, when it comes to tablets, Amazon’s Kindle Fire was preferred over Android devices with Google Play support.

The Nintendo DS and DSi led the way for handheld game devices, closely followed by the 3DS. The Sony PlayStation Vita was the only other device cited by name by App Annie and IDC.

The average smartphone game player was 41 years old in June 2013, with 53 per cent of the user base female.

It was noted that players often used more than one device to play games.

Nearly 20 per cent of US gamers that played games on Android smartphones also played on Android tablets or the Kindle Fire.

A smaller proportion (around 10 per cent) of Android smartphone owners also played games on iPads and the Nintendo 3DS, with the iPhone and PlayStation Vita also cited.

Looking at iPad gamers, more than 30 per cent also played games on the iPhone.

Interestingly, around 20 per cent of iPad gamers also used the Amazon Kindle Fire (more than who used Android smartphones), with some even playing games on Android tablets with Google Play – indicating multi-tablet use.


Regional variation

Game spending on iOS, Android and handhelds varied considerably across different regions.

As in the second quarter, Q3 spending on Google Play came largely from the Asia Pacific region, with smaller contributions from North America, Western Europe and the rest of the world. North America gained 1.2 percentage points compared to Q2.

idc-app-annie-regional variations

iOS game spending was slightly more evenly spread across the regions, although Asia Pacific became more significant in the most recent quarter, gaining 2.5 percentage points.

Handheld spending was similarly spread across regions, although there was a 4.6 percentage point gain in North America.

The top five grossing games in the App Store globally remained the same as the previous quarter, led by Supercell’s ‘Clash of Clans’, but Google Play and the handheld category both saw three new entrants to the top five.

Global developments

Games accounted for around 40 per cent of downloads for both Apple’s App Store and Google Play for the third quarter of the year, slightly down on previous quarter.

Total game spending increased across the board, with gaming handhelds seeing a rise of almost 50 per cent compared to Q2, boosted in part by the release of hit games for the Nintendo 3DS.

But the share of consumer spending on games compared to other products fell slightly for the App Store and increased slightly for Google Play, due to strong spending in other categories.

In terms of total spending on games, the App Store led the way, followed by Google Play and handhelds.