International Data Corporation (IDC) published the Worldwide Gaming-Optimized Handheld, Smartphone, and Tablet Gaming 2013–2017 Forecast, on the current state and future direction of smartphone, tablet, and gaming-optimized handheld (GOH) hardware and software. The forecast details the outlook for Apple, Google/Android, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and a wide range of game developers and publishers from a mobile and portable gaming perspective through 2017. Some key point they make are:

  • IDC research shows that the number of paying smartphone and tablet gamers will surpass the number of paying GOH gamers worldwide in 2013
  • This number will continue to rise at a rapid rate through 2017
  • The number of GOH bundles shipped should fall at an average of nearly 7% per year over the next five years
  • The installed base of GOH’s is being overwhelmed by smartphones and tablets that are used for casual gaming primarily
  •  Total mobile/portable gaming revenue, including digital and packaged game software, GOH hardware bundles, and direct advertising revenue going to platform suppliers and game developers/publishers, is forecast to approach $23 billion in 2017.

IDC_logoIDC put out a new research report “The Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012–2016 Forecast” with some interesting takeaways from analyst Lewis Ward, including:

  • PS3 has shipped an estimated 77 million bundles
  • Xbox360 has shipped approximately 76 million bundles

IDC estimates:

  • Nintendo’s Wii U will exceed 50 million bundles by year-end 2016
  • The volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3% per year through 2016
  • Eighth-generation console tie ratios will be approximately 25% lower than the tie ratios of seventh- or current-generation consoles

IESherpa Opinion – Although the number of physical games bought will decline, the number of digital games will likely increase at a faster rate, resulting in net growth for the games industry overall. Either way, we have another three years to see if this is correct and a lot can happen between now and then.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android phones are now outpacing iOS by a ratio of four to one.

Top Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Q2 2012 (Units in Millions) 

Operating System Q2 2012 Shipments Q2 2012 Market Share Q2 2011 Shipments Q2 2011 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Android 104.8 68.1% 50.8 46.9% 106.5%
iOS 26.0 16.9% 20.4 18.8% 27.5%
Blackberry OS 7.4 4.8% 12.5 11.5% -40.9%
Symbian 6.8 4.4% 18.3 16.9% -62.9%
Windows Phone 7 / Windows Mobile 5.4 3.5% 2.5 2.3% 115.3%
Linux 3.5 2.3% 3.3 3.0% 6.3%
Others 0.1 0.1% 0.6 0.5% -80.0%
Grand Total 154.0 100.0% 108.3 100.0% 42.2%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, August 8, 2012

Global smartphone device shipments are predicted grow at a rate of 49.2%, according to IDC. Other key points include:

  • Smartphone shipments will surpass 450 million units in 2011
  • Smartphone shipments were 303.4 million units in 2010
  • Android is expected to reach market share of nearly 40% by the end of 2011
  • Symbian is expected to fall to a little over 20% of the overall market
  • iOS is expected to have around 16% by the end of 2011
  • BlackBerry is expected to end the year at 14.9% of the overall market

There’s a nice table showing the 2015 market share predictions here.

iPad

Cnet has a story quoting Needham & Company Analyst Charlie Wolf as saying the Apple iPad will sell:

  • 2 Million iPads in 2010
  • 6 Million iPads in 2011

IDC Analyst Richard Shim estimates:

  • 4-5 Million iPads in 2010
  • IDC also estimates just 1.3 million non-Apple Tablet PCs – 170,000 of which will be slates.
  • IDC estimates that in 2009, 1 million tablets were sold, 125,000 of which were slates, as compared to 875,000 convertible PCs

I predict that without Flash support, it’ll be hard for the iPad to gain mainstream acceptance among gamers. Casual gamers playing FarmVille and other social networking games based on Flash won’t be able to play on the iPad. It seems like it might be a smart business move to consider adding Flash support outside of just the YouTube player if apple wants to capture this audience.

According to a release from IDC, there were more than 450 million mobile Internet users worldwide in 2009, a number that is expected to more than double by the end of 2013. Here are the highlights from IDC’s Worldwide Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast”:

  • More than 1.6 billion people – a little over a quarter of the world’s population – used the Internet in 2009
  • By 2013, over 2.2 billion people – more than one third of the world’s population – is expected to be using the Internet
  • More than 1.6 billion devices worldwide were used to access the Internet in 2009, including PCs, mobile phones, and online videogame consoles
  • By 2013, the total number of devices accessing the Internet will increase to more than 2.7 billion
  • China continues to have more Internet users than any other country, with 359 million in 2009
  • The number of Internet users in China is expected to grow to 566 million by 2013
  • The United States had 261 million Internet users in 2009, a figure that will reach 280 million in 2013. India will have one of the fastest growing Internet populations, growing almost two-fold between 2009 and 2013.
  • The United States has far more total devices connected to the Internet than any other country
  • China is the leader in in the number of mobile online devices with almost 85 million mobile devices connected to the Internet in 2009
  • The number of Internet devices in India, both mobile and fixed, is expected to grow commensurate with the number of Internet users
  • Worldwide, more than 624 million Internet users will make online purchases in 2009, totaling nearly $8 trillion (both business to business and business to consumer)
  • By 2013, worldwide eCommerce transactions will be worth more than $16 trillion
  • Worldwide spending on Internet advertising will total nearly $61 billion in 2009, which is slightly more than 10% of all ad spending across all media
  • Worldwide spending on Internet advertising is expected to reach almost 15% of all ad spending across all media by 2013 as Internet ad spending grows surpasses $100 billion worldwide

Billy Pidgeon over at IDC estimated the size of the video game market in a recent research report:

  • “Industry revenue for dedicated console and handheld hardware and software attained an unprecedented high of $46.4 billion in 2007 and will grow 22.9% in 2008 to reach $57.1 billion.”

This research report actually came out before the DFC Intelligence report, but given two analysts have estimated the $57 Billion number, it’s probably safe to use.