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Mobile game spend tops dedicated handheld sales

Analytics firm App Annie and IDC find more than 20 billion games downloaded on smartphones and tablets last year

The mobile gaming space has been trendier than the dedicated handheld gaming world for a while, but it's now bigger, to boot. According to the inaugural Portable Gaming Report from analytics firm App Annie and International Data Corporation, consumers spent more on iOS App Store and Google Play games than on software for dedicated gaming handhelds like the 3DS and PlayStation Vita in 2012.

The report also drove home the significance of gaming to the mobile marketplaces. While roughly one-third of the downloaded apps were games, those efforts accounted for more than 60 percent of iOS spending, and close to 80 percent of Google Play consumer spending. In all, more than 20 billion games were downloaded to smartphones and tablets in 2012. As for underlying operating systems, Android "significantly outpaced" iOS adoption rates last year, claiming a 54 percent share of the market compared to Apple's 18 percent.

App Annie and IDC are planning to release quarterly Portable Gaming Reports to chart the cell phone and tablet gaming market alongside worldwide software shipments for traditional gaming handhelds.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.