Android Rising

Mark Stephens

Nope. That’s not the name of a new Hollywood blockbuster. It’s a fact according to recent studies that have looked at the portion of the mobile gaming market currently being enjoyed on the Android platform.

Android Market Share


We all know that gaming on handsets and tablets is increasing. A recent study by ComScore found that over 62 million people played games on their mobile phones in September 2011 across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. That represents over 25% of all mobile phone users in those countries.

But how about the break up between Android and iOS platforms?

The US online gaming community MocoSpace recently reported that Android had captured 83% of the mobile gaming market, according to their users.

Apple user devices made up only 10% of MocoSpace’s gaming market and Blackberry users a paltry 1.25%.

Around three quarters of users surveyed said they only played one to five games per month so it is thought that most do not jump from game to game and tend to stick with the same games week in week out.

The Android Success

Part of the Android success story may be its penetration into the growing lower end of the tablet market as much as the smartphone market.


With the mobile phone market in the 5 European countries mentioned above, the most popular gaming platform was clearly Apple’s iOs, as iPhone sales there have rocketed; Blackberry also took a larger market share in those countries than in the US.

But there are definitely signs that the Android platform is rising in Europe as well as the US.

We spoke earlier last year about the perceived problem of device fragmentation with Android and it is thought that this has deterred some developers from fully exploring that platform. Piracy has also been a problem for some developers, squeezing them further away from using Android. But that may be set to change.

The Future is Bright; the Future may be Android

Many people in the industry believe that Android will only get bigger as it taps into the lower end of the market and attracts the large amounts of people who can’t afford the Apple devices – and this will probably mean developers will follow.

Some liken the potential Android/Apple break up of market share to the PC/Mac break up – around 80/20 to Android (similar to the 83% quoted in the Mocospace survey.)

In emerging areas like India and Africa, the release of $50 tablets will open up more opportunities for developers to reach a new mass market. Here, the penetration of consoles is very low, so there is big potential for these devices to become the main gaming device in the household.

The problem for developers, as ever, with Android becoming more dominant in the mobile gaming market, from sheer numbers of low-end device users, will be how to monetise their efforts.

If you are a developer or gamer let us know what you think about the Android gaming experiences you’ve had so far.