How East Asian Companies are Dominating the Mobile Landscape and What The Stats are on Smartphone Shipments
Before we jump into things, we should first acknowledge some critical facts about the Chinese Mobile Games Market. This will help us understand what's to come after, and will give you the context you need to be able to achieve that.
First things first, seeing as China has already surpassed the U.S. in Smartphone device holders, Niko Partners predicts that by this time next year there will also be more mobile gamers in China than in the US.
In 2012 there were 192 million mobile gamers in China, This year there will be 288 million, and in 2014 that number is expected to reach 390 million. Given the fact that there are around 314 million people living in the U.S. the obvious conclusion is that there will be more gamers in China than there are people in the U.S.!
If that wasn't enough, let's dive into what this means for mobile gaming revenue. Niko Partners says,
"If each of those gamers spends 33 cents per month this year, revenue will reach $1.2 billion, up 60% from last year."
Interestingly, many Chinese consumers also have more than 1 device for themselves. Niko Partners say that the ratio is at 125% per person, with Samsung being the hardware with the highest market share running none other than Android's OS.
It was also discovered that this year Chinese consumers are spending 40% more time playing games on their devices than they were in 2013, and up to 41% for their favorite game.
One big distinction in China is the actual number of App Stores available to download these apps from. Here in the U.S. the two leaders are iOS and Android, with Windows and Blackberry hanging on by breadcrumbs. Evidently there are more than 20 platforms, but less than 20 actually matter. I can understand from a developers point of view.. this may be a bit daunting.
I mean, after-all.. here in the U.S. all developers really have to complain about is how much fragmentation there is for screen sizes on Android. Whereas, could you imagine going through the submission process of 20 different app stores, AND THEN configuring your apps to work in-line with their guidelines, as well as the screen sizes from their most popular device owner?
Needless to say, if you are considering globalizing and heading into China, then you'd want a partner that either works closely with a distribution platform (App Store) or a Game Operator themselves.
With that being said, if you're looking to develop games in China keep in mind that: tried and true works, so don't try and reinvent the wheel.
Imitation vs innovation.
Competition however is incredibly fierce, China has a population of over 130,000 developers on TWO/20 of its platforms alone, and claim that there are 6x as many developers this year as there were in 2013.
More on all this can be found here.
Speaking of Samsung, you should know they just surpassed their quarterly revenue expectations and hit $9.56 billion profit, according to the Verge.
Indeed, Smart devices aren't going anywhere any-time soon. While they may change in how we carry them (in our hand, on our face, on our wrist, etc..) There is no foreseeable future where we're not with them closeby.
According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments increased 45% YOY and are expected to hit 251 million units this year up from around 173M last year.
Strategy Analytics had this to say on the matter,
“This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 6 in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. The smartphone industry’s robust growth is being driven by strong demand for LTE models in developed regions like the U.S. and 3G devices in emerging markets such as China,”
Again, Samsung leads the way capturing 35% of the market. This year they shipped 55% (or 88.4 million) more smartphones more than last year.
Despite this massive success, some at Strategy Analytics say that Apple can still make a comeback. Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston expects the Cupertino, Ca.-based company to
“rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5s model.”
Apple shipped 33.8 million phones in Q3 of this year, which is up 26% from last years 26.9 Million.
Between Apple and Samsung however, they represent the lions share of the market. (See the image below).
On another note..
NativeX (formerly W3i) came out with some updates for their developers SDK. Personally, I was hoping for a platform that didn't require an integrated SDK to work with, but I suppose this is good if you're a developer who's running things themselves. Check them out.