While mobile games markets in Western Europe and North America slowed markedly in 2008, strong growth across the Indian Sub Continent - where sales more than doubled in 2008. Africa and the Middle East, and developing nations across the Asia Pacific regions saw revenues for the sector rise more than 20% to an estimated $5.4 billion in 2008, according to a new report by Juniper Research.
Despite the flat-lining of download volumes in countries such as the US and UK, and decreasing growth in Japan, adoption of mobile games continued unabated in the key Indian and Chinese markets.
Furthermore, the decline in Java downloads in Western Europe and North America in 2008 was offset by the remarkable volume of downloads generated through the Apple App Store for the iPhone.
The levels of game playing per download via the iPhone were far higher than for any other handset. The combination of iPhone and the App Store has galvanized the mobile games industry.
Apple has provided an innovative device which enables developers to create smooth, compelling, visually attractive games with a business model offering a highly competitive revenue share for developers.
Other findings from the Juniper report include:
"¢ the Far East and China is the largest regional market for games downloads;
"¢ the Indian sub-continent will overtake Western Europe to become the second-largest market by 2010;
"¢ more than 50% of games downloaded by 2012 will be funded by advertising;
"¢ operators in Europe and the US need to demands a smaller revenue share from games to encourage developers.