Smartphones and Apps – Freemium Games are No. 1

It seems that when it comes to Apps, the number one App is still Games, according to recent stats posted Thursday July 7th 2011AD by Analyst Nielsen. In fact, to give a bit of perspective, the most popular Apps categories are in fact:

  1. Games
  2. Weather
  3. Social Networking
  4. Maps, Navigation and Search

Let me throw some clothes on those nubile facts:

  • 93% buy Games
  • 87% buy Entertainment App
  • 84% buy both a Productivity App and a Map, Navigation or Search App

Food and News Apps also popped up in the study, an indicator that gamers, be they Console or Mobile, gotta eat too!

But it is the average time spent on these Games that is shocking: Mobile Games play 7.8 hours per month!

Broken down in terms of OS:

  1. iPhone users play 14.7 hours each month
  2. Android users play 9.3 hours per month.

Nielsen also shows that the love for gaming is really a smartphone thing, as persons who own a real smartphone, namely an Apple iPhone, a Google Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones are most likely to download Games, which accounts for a decent 64% of those featured in the study. This leaves the Corporate in their suits and the boring Blackberry’s and feature phones stuck with the Games preloaded on their device.

So as my lede taken from blogger Ryan’s article Defying The Apple Gods: Jamaica and The App Store, which anticipates Apps being the next-big-thing among future Apple iPhone 4 users in Jamaica, thanks to LIME, I start off my ditty by listing the Top Free Apple iPhone App Games, based on the statistics of the Top 148 Website:

Top Free Apple iPhone App Games Price US$
ICEE Maker 0.00
Gravity Guy 0.00
USABasketball – MULTIPLAYER 0.00
Escape 3D: The Jail 0.00
Racing Penguin, Flying Free 0.00
Mall Party 0.00
Angry Bulls 0.00
FireworksArcade 0.00
Hanging With Friends Free 0.00
TexasHold’em Poker 0.00

As a quick comparison, here is the list of the Top Paid Apple iPhone App Games, again based on the statistics of the Top 148 Website:

Top Paid Apple iPhone App Games Price US$
Angry Birds 0.99
Fruit Ninja 0.99
Tiny Wings 2.99
Angry Birds Seasons 0.99
Cars 2 0.99
Cut the Rope 2.99
TETRIS® 0.99
Angry BirdsRio 0.99
Tower Defense®: Lost Earth 0.99

These lists changes every 24 hours, so here is the link:

These stats are not surprising, as Apple and the Infinite loop crew also posted their stats that showed that people had downloaded a whopping fifteen billion Apps (15,000,000,000) from the Apple Apps Store. This just six (6) months after the Apple Apps store celebrated hitting the ten billion (10,000,000,000) Apps downloaded some six (6) months ago with a US$10,000 Apple iTunes Gift Card to the 10,000,000,000th App downloader, a UK resident named Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, sums up best my favourite set of quoted figures on Thursday July 7th 2011AD: “In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen. Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest Apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”

Now granted, I don’t have an Apple iPhone and I don’t play Games on any smartphone. But I do have friends here in Milk River, Clarendon who do both, specifically a female friend of mine, who is now my business partner in my computer repair venture.

What I do know is Statistical analysis, being as the majority of work in the Telecoms Industry involves mainly Analyzing huge volumes of Statistical information and making predictive models about customer data. I often did it in my spare time while employed at C&W (2001 to 2004) and CLARO Jamaica (2008 to 2009) and still do so now, posting most of my predictions on my personal blog that I have observed over the years coming to pass.

Applying this same analysis technique, I had earlier come to the conclusion that Mobile Gaming overtaking being tops in 2011, making Console Gaming possibly retreat to the Clouds to preserve their current business models as my article Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds posits.

But my analysis, I am afraid, did not go deep enough. I had made a distinction between Mobile and Console Gaming; but not between Freemium and Premium Gaming.

Premium is the older model of paying for the Games upfront. Freemium, the NKYOB (New Kid on the Block) is basically a Business Model where you download or play the online Game for free but pay for upgrades, often referred to in the case of Apps as “in-App purchases”.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that on various smartphone Platforms, inclusive of the Apple iPhone, Freemium Games are not only outpacing Premium Gaming, but also raking in the big bucks as well, accounting for about two thirds of all Game App downloads, according to the analyst Flurry on Thursday July 7th  2011AD.

To be precise, Freemium Games, according to Flurry, accounts for a total of 65% of all Revenue in the Top 100 Apple Apps Store downloaded Games in June 2011AD, compared to 35% from Premium Games. By comparison, a mere six (6) months ago, the figures were almost a perfect reversal of what they are now, with Premium Games accounting for 61% of all Revenue in the Top 100 Apple Apps Store downloaded Games in June 2011AD, compared to 39% from Freemium Games.

The graph below tells the same tale, but in jade and blue:

So to summarize, whether you plan to buy an Apple iPhone 4 from LIME or you are a Developer in Jamaica planning to start a Developer Team to make Apps:

  • Games are the most popular App downloaded from the Apple App Store
  • The most profitable Business Model as a Game Developer is Freemium.

Guaranteed profitable for the whole of 2011AD, with App Developers being projected by analyst Gartner to raking in fifteen billion dollars in 2011AD alone!

But hurry up, young u’uns!

The Telecom Providers are building out their Wired and Wired Broadband Networks as we speak as my article LIME, Digicel and FLOW – Leading the Global 4G Adoption Curve points out. Now is as good a time as any as my article Jamaica’s 100MBps Internet Silver Lining – Tele-commuting Workplace is coming suggests to get your Game Developer Teams together and make some Jamaican Apple iPhone Apps  and take a bite – out of the Apple!

The following two tabs change content below.
Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

1 Comment

Comments are closed.