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Mobile and gaming - two platforms touted heavily by vendors and analysts as no brainer-target markets for the enterprising developer.

And why not? They represent the perfect storm of developers' own interests of building software, playing games, and shiny new gadgets that also happen play well broadly among consumers who have too much money to spend.

Mobile gaming could well be a lucrative area for software developers in the next few year. Exactly how lucrative, though, is questionable.

The bad news is the theoretically unstoppable market for mobile gaming actually fell in 2007. The good news is that the market for mobile gaming is set to grow from - er, 2007.

As ever, though, how much the market will actually grow depends on which analyst you listen to. Juniper Research has said the worldwide market will be worth $10bn by 2009 while iSuppli says it will be worth only $6.6bn by 2011. According to a report from Informa Telecoms and Media, published a couple of years ago, the mobile gaming market will be worth $11.186bn by 2010. Yet another by Global Industry Analysts predicted in July 2007 that the market would be worth $20bn by 2010.

OK, enough of the numbers. When they vary so widely it is hard to take them seriously and one is left with the feeling that market research on the tech industry is, by its very nature, optimistic about the future.

After all, what company is going to pay several thousand bucks/pounds/euros for a big fat research report with the headline Market for widgets set to decline to zero in five years

For more on mobile development, see Blognation's Mind the Gap Saturday: The mobile worlds of China and the West, this Saturday in Register Developer.

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