A new report into the growth prospects for the global entertainment industry from market research experts PriceWaterhouseCoopers has concluded that mobile gaming is set to be one of the fastest growing sectors in North America.
The report fingered the overall interactive entertainment sector as being one of the spearheads of entertainment industry growth between now and 2009, predicting a 16.5 per cent annual growth rate for the sector over the next five years.
Mobile games, however, outstrip even that hugely impressive figure - with PWC's analysis suggesting that the market in the United States could grow by as much as 49.3 per cent annually.
That figure is based on a current valuation for the mobile games market of $281 million, which is expected to rise to $2.1 billion by 2009 - representing over seven-fold growth, an estimate which is likely to see interest in the sector boosted even further.
One of the key factors in that growth will be the gradual replacement of the current installed base of mobile phone handsets with more powerful models that are better suited to videogames, according to PWC's analysts.
"The replacement of current wireless telephone handsets with newer models capable of downloading games will be a major influence on the wireless sector," the report stated.