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Smartphones now dominant in mobile gaming - report

Research by comScrore reveals phones such as the iPhone and Blackberry Curve have usurped traditional models

comScore, a digital products consumer research group, has reported that the number of people downloading mobile games grew 17 per cent year-on-year to 8.5 million - with smartphones, such as the iPhone and Blackberry Curve, overtaking traditional mobiles for the first time ever.

"The rapid growth in smartphone adoption in the United States has provided a boost for mobile gaming, as 34 per cent of those downloading a game in November did so using a smartphone," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, comScore.

The study of US consumers showed that the number of smartphone owners downloading a game nearly tripled, while downloads on traditional phones dipped 14 per cent.

iPhone owners now represented 14 per cent of all downloaded mobile game in November, with 32.4 per cent of all iPhone users reporting they downloaded a game in the month, compared with a market average of 3.8 per cent.

"Last year, not one smartphone appeared in the top 10 devices used for mobile downloads," Donovan explained. "This year, six out of 10 are smartphones, excluding devices with smartphone-like functionality, such as the Instinct and Voyager, which also make appearances."

"As the mobile phone has evolved into a better platform for both playing and merchandising games, the games being offered have also been improved, drawing in a broader user base."

"Over the past year, we have seen mobile gaming expand into a broadening demographic, with strongest growth among teens, who previously eschewed their mobile device in favour of handheld gaming devices, and those 35 and older," Donovan concluded.

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James Lee