Consumer research firm Telephia has announced its latest figures for the mobile game market in North America - revealing that Q4 2006 showed continued strong growth for the sector.
On-portal mobile game revenues jumped by 61 per cent year on year, while the number of downloaders was up by 45 per cent year on year, showing that the industry continues to boost its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) figure as well as expanding into new markets.
Revenues from games sold on-portal climbed to $151 million in the quarter, and according to Telephia, on-portal titles still hold the lion's share of the market overal - accounting for some 74 per cent of all revenues from mobile games, compared with 26 per cent for off-portal sales.
Even more interesting than Telephia's confirmation of rapid growth in the mobile space was the firm's assessment of the kind of people who are buying mobile games - which, it claims, is a much broader demographic than the one enjoyed by console games.
The mobile gaming demographic, by comparison with console games, is somewhat older - with forty per cent of games being purchased by consumers aged between 25 and 36 - and shows a radically different gender split, with some 65 per cent of games being purchased by women.
In terms of the companies who occupy the space, EA Mobile continues to lead the field with 28 per cent of all revenue being down to the giant publisher's mobile offerings. Gameloft and Glu share second place in the rankings, with around 11 per cent apiece, while companies such as Namco, I-Play, Digital Chocolate, Hands-On Mobile, Superscape, Capcom and Oasys Mobile are highlighted as the third tier players, each holding between two and six per cent of the market.
"The mobile game industry has seen strong growth very quickly with titles that appeal to a broad demographic," commented Telephia's vice president of mobile content, Kanishka Agarwal. "However, the industry is faced with a new challenge in order to sustain its growth. Several new mobile content services such as mobile video and full-track music are also competing for the mobile consumers' attention and wallet."