Surveying the iOS Market

Now let’s look deeper at the state of games on the platform that Steve Jobs made (see Figure 1-2).

Figure 1-2: iOS App Store page for games


Overall Install Base

The total install base of iOS devices currently exceeds 200 million, and, according to ReadWriteWeb, 90 percent of iOS owners are running iOS version 4.x or higher. Within this market, the iPad has an install base of approximately 60 million.

Player Demographics

According to top smartphone app analyst, as of February 2012, a reasonable estimate of the iOS gaming market is 110 million, with a roughly 50/50 gender ratio. “Between 0.5 and 6 percent of players—depending on game genres—use in-app purchases,” Flurry analyst Patrick Minotti told me.

NOTE See Flurry’s blog,, and the posts “Mobile Freemium Games: Women Thrifty, Men Binge” and “Mobile Freemium Games: Gen Y Plays But Gen X Pays” for more details on iOS gamer demographics.

“In terms of geographical location,” says Minotti, “I would say it’s about 50 percent North America, 30 percent European Union, and 20 percent Asia.”

iOS games are primarily monetized through in-app purchases, with hardcore titles gaining most of their revenue. Fortunately for indie developers, the overwhelming share of games on the iOS market are made by them and not by established companies coming from another platform. This does not mean ...

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