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iPhone success "freaking out" Sony and Nintendo - Hawkins

Apple's mobile device took the games industry by surprise, according to EA's founder

Sony and Nintendo are "freaking out" over the success of the iPhone as a gaming platform, according to Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts.

Speaking to VentureBeat about the success his current company, Digital Chocolate, has had with iPhone games, Hawkins explained how the popularity of the platform took the industry by surprise.

"The iPhone for us was a spectacularly pleasant surprise," he explained. "We had no idea it was going to be as good for us as it turned out to be...

"It's by far our most effective platform. We make as much money with these games on one device as we do putting a game on 100 different cell phone platforms."

He added: "Between the iPod Touch and the iPhone, I think the platform is freaking out Sony and Nintendo. Apple has sold 30 million units so far and it has created tremendous awareness. It has taken ground all over the world. But it has only penetrated one half of one percent of its total market."

Hawkins recognised that other mobile phone manufacturers hoped to build on iPhone's success with similar designs but insisted that Digital Chocolate's focus remained on Apple's device.

"The clones are coming," he said. "Device makers, chip companies, software companies and others are getting into the act. We may experiment with putting games on those new app stores, but the urgency now is to put games on the iPhone."

Digital Chocolate has produced four titles for the iPhone that were best sellers, with 10 million downloads in less than 100 days.


James Lee