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Mobile Gamers in the US

How many mobile owners use them to game?

September 2, 2008

The exact number of mobile gamers in the US depends on who is counted. eMarketer's estimate includes only those mobile customers who have downloaded and paid for a mobile game. At 31 million, it is a considerably smaller number than some others.

US Mobile Gamers and Mobile Game Spending, 2007-2012 (millions)

Limbo and GFK/NOP Research published data in January 2008 indicating that over 70 million US mobile customers played games on their phones. Marketers should note that this figure includes mobile customers who play preloaded and sideloaded games as well as mobile games downloaded over a network.

In June 2008, the dotMobi consortium and AKQA published a study on US and UK mobile Internet activities, which reported 22% of respondents engaged in mobile game play.

However, it is likely that the dotMobi/AKQA population sample did not differentiate between those consumers who play mobile games preloaded or sideloaded onto their phones from PCs and those who paid for downloaded games.

Mobile Internet Activities of UK and US Mobile Internet Users, May 2008 (% of respondents)

Other research in March 2008 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that 27% of US mobile device users had played mobile games between October and December 2007. Paid and free games both counted in this definition as well.

Marketers trying to sell games may find the lower estimates to be more useful, while the higher numbers may be of more interest to marketers considering sponsoring the games.

Learn what it will take to grow the mobile gaming market in the US. Read eMarketer's Mobile Games: Consumers Don't Pay to Play report.

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