Smartphones eat games handhelds and cameras for lunch
Serial category killer?
As iPhones and other smartphone devices increase in popularity, their foothold in the mobile gaming market strengthens. This looks like bad news for traditional handheld options we generally associate Nintendo and Sony with.
Some suggest the iPhone could even have a negative impact to the point & shoot camera industry, as figures from Flickr show the iPhone 4 is on its way to becoming the world's most-used photography device. Could the Apple iPhone ruin consumer electronics as we know it?
Research from Flurry Analytics compared US mobile gaming figures from 2009 to 2010. The dominance of Nintendo's DS took quite a pounding, but there was huge increase in iOS and Android game popularity, which now represents over a third of the total market.
That's hardly surprising considering the increase rate of smartphone ownership, even less so perhaps when you consider the handheld console market is in transitional phase between major releases, or at least, it was so in 2010.
Michael Pachter, a games industry analyst at Wedbush Morgan, thinks not. He says the onslaught of $1 games is set to continue and the handheld big-boys will have to share the market.
While it may not have met initial expectations, Nintendo has been doing a decent job of selling its latest 3D handheld, setting record sales figures in the process. But how long can it continue?
Sony has already decided to stop production on the PSPGo. Perhaps this is in preparation of its forthcoming handheld the NGP, or maybe a response to the release of Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play, a PlayStation phone which clearly shows the company is aware of just where the money's at.
It isn't just the portable gaming market that smartphones are affecting, though.
This is quite a feat when you consider the D90 is three-years-old already. Figures also show popularity of Point & Shoot cameras is in serious nosedive, on Flickr, at least, and with smartphone photography on the rise, it's clear who the culprit is.
This month, Cisco decided to drop its Flip HD handheld camcorder range too. Again, are smartphones to blame? And let's not forget the Cassandras who forecast the demise of specialist GPS devices at the hands of the smartphone makers.
Could this just be natural progression in the evolution of technology? Let us know your views below. ®
I want what I want - not what gets pushed on me!
Call me a dinosaur (you wouldn't be the first), but I simply don't want a single device that does everything poorly (OK, some things mediocre). I still have a Palm PDA because there is no smartphone out there that does what it does for me; my camera is a point and shoot, but cost USD100 and has an 8mp chip and a 3x optical zoom; my GPS does tracking and way-point marking in addition to navigation and route-planning through my PC. And my phone is for making calls and sending texts (somthing that seems to be the least important thing on a smartphone these days).
I might be in a minority, but it is a big minority and I am getting mightily pissed off with being treated like a sheep and expected to just accept what is thrown to me!
I think somebody missed something
The thing is, it's not necesarily sales that the iphone is stealing from cameras and traditional handhelds, it's sales that'recreated by the popularity of the device. I highly doubt that any self respecting photography enthusiast who'd previously own a Nikon D90 would buy an iphone, it's just that iphones have become popular and expanded the market.
I generally appreciate what Pachter has to say, but he'd be the first to admit that he's been wrong before.
How much have the two markets expanded by? Was more DS software sold in 2010 than in 2009, and thus Nintendo are still making a tidy profit? Are there more photos being uploaded to flikr and thus Nikons "share" of said "market" is actually the same? Is it even fair to bundle iOS & Android together? They separated the DS & PSP after all. How many nine year olds have a smart phone (I know my son does not, but he does have a DS)? How many of those smartphone owners are really going to continue purchasing games after the initial novelty wears off?
Pointless articles like this raise more questions than you can shake a 3DS at ...
Smartphone cameras and games (imo) are a step BACKWARDS, they're fine for the odd snap to upload to facebook or whatever, or distract you for 5 minutes while you're waiting in the kebab shop, but they're not serious... they're not even good.