Manchester, United Kingdom, 4th May 2005 - iFone, the leading global wireless entertainment publisher, believes that North America is becoming the world's most important market for mobile gaming and will grow to become the largest and most sophisticated within the next two years.
Morgan O'Rahilly, CEO of iFone, said, "A number of factors are converging which will allow the North American market to overtake other regions in terms of market development within a short period of time. The potential market for US cell phone users with a significant disposable income is very substantial. Added to which, there is also a strong casual gaming culture with gamers already used to playing against each other online and across a diversity of gaming platforms. As the penetration of game-enabled devices continues to increase, more and more consumers will be playing casual wireless games."
Currently in the US, it is estimated there are 35 to 45 million game-enabled wireless devices and this is expected to triple by late 2005. With the worldwide market for wireless gaming dominated by the casual gamer, the huge number of US wireless subscribers already makes it a key market for any global publisher.
Dr. Windsor Holden, Senior Analyst at Juniper Research added: "In terms of adoption of mobile entertainment services, the US market is in its infancy compared with Western Europe and Asia. However, we're now seeing significantly higher growth curves in the US, perhaps partly because service providers have honed their products in these other markets and thus American consumers are being hit at the outset with a much more extensive content portfolio, at a time when handsets are that much more sophisticated and - in terms of the multimedia experience - user-friendly."
Significantly, the success of iFone's European portfolio has been mirrored in the US with Monopoly, one of iFone's regularly chart-topping games in Europe, proving to be another major success with US consumers.
"The US has a great gaming tradition and culture," comments Chett Shearer, Vice President of Sales to the Americas, at iFone. "And with such great US-focused brands as Rocky and Bullwinkle and Roger Ramjet among iFone's portfolio, the US market is going to continue to be a fantastic growth area for iFone."
"The US operators understand the advantages that targeting the mass market can bring and through this approach they are well placed to maximise their gaming revenues," Shearer commented. "Connected games like Battleship, which allow players to challenge their friends, will be very popular to American mobile gamers and to the operators."
iFone is a global leader in wireless entertainment, specialising in the development, production and publishing of wireless entertainment content for current and future mobile devices. Operating a global distribution network, iFone is live in over 35 countries with over 65 network operators, and works with all major handsets manufacturers, retail channels and entertainment portals.
As a leading publisher, iFone acts as a bridge between brand licensors, game developers, handset manufacturers and wireless carriers to deliver first class wireless entertainment to its customers. Combining world class account management, publishing and brand acquisition teams, iFone benefits from a huge wealth of experience and technical knowledge from across the industry.
For further information, please contact;
Patrick Smith for iFone
+44 (0)20 7031 0890
+44 (0)161 827 8194