At the SXSW festival, talk occasionally varies from how much Radiohead rules to matters of technology. There was a fascinating discussion on iPhone gaming by people who make games for iPhones, and an interesting tidbit came out of it; not only is the iPhone dominating headlines, it’s also dominating web browsing for mobile devices:
Thus, factoring in iPhone numbers and an estimate of iPod touches, we get upwards of 20 million devices. Another interesting point: 70% of mobile browsing is done via iPhone or touch. That’s a staggering amount, especially in comparison to other platforms, with Java only accounting for 8%, Windows Mobile about the same, and it goes south from there.
That’s a staggering number, but one I can readily believe. Of the mobile interfaces I’ve used, Safari on the iPod touch gives me the closest to being like the “real web” (minus Flash, of course), one that’s easy to navigate.
But as a panel on gaming, the focus was, of course, on games. There’s data to suggest that in addition to 20-30 million iPhones in use, in addition to an unknown number of iPod touches, “games account for most App Store downloads, with puzzle games being the most downloaded genre.” Read on for a discussion of how companies (including Mac old timers Pangaea) port their games to the iPhone, create brand awareness, and decide how much to charge for a game. And find out how big an issue piracy really is.