Report: Smartphones overtake handhelds in portable game revenue

By Steve Watts, Nov 09, 2011 12:00pm PST

Nintendo's struggles to get a foothold with 3DS sales has been called a sure sign of changing mobile gaming habits, as more users switch to smart phones. Now data suggests that the combined market share of iOS and Android has jumped from just 19% in 2009, to a whopping 58% in 2011.

Mobile analytics firm Flurry (via VentureBeat) estimates that while the mobile platforms combined only made up about $500 million of the $2.7 billion in portable revenue in 2009, it's boomed to $1.9 billion of the $3.3 billion this year. Note, though, that this includes projections for November and December.

Flurry concludes that expensive carts in the realm of $25 or more are on the way out, as diminishing market share makes them less profitable. Android and iOS have made a lot of headway with cheaper, smaller experiences for only a dollar.

The study only seems to take DS sales into account, and doesn't make mention of 3DS sales. While the system has been slow, it might contribute to a stronger overall percentage if counted in the dedicated portable market. Still, the numbers suggest a shrinking market for console manufacturers, as Nintendo tries to gain 3DS momentum and Sony prepares to launch the PS Vita.

[Image courtesy of Flurry.]

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