Nintendo may not see itself as a competitor to Apple, and Steve Jobs may not exactly be shaking in his boots when it comes to sales of the Nintendo Wii, but the two are closer competitors than one might think. And according to a recent report, they might be officially classified as such, with Apple on track to beat Nintendo as owners of the most-popular handheld gaming devices.
A report from Strategy Analytics points to the iPhone and iPod Touch as the sole reasons for Apple’s new-found competition for Nintendo. With all the gaming “apps” available in the Apple Store, the iPhone has taken off in the handheld gaming space, already surpassing Nokia’s phones for operating profits, according to the report. Now, Apple is unofficially giving notice to Nintendo that its DS may soon not be the most-popular handheld gaming device.
According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, “Apple has made clear that it intends to go after Nintendo’s turf. At a media event in early September, Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, said dedicated gaming devices like Nintendo’s DS and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Portable ‘seemed so cool’ at first but now ‘don’t stack up’ to the iPod Touch or iPhone.
“…But [Nintendo] hasn’t been immune to the recent competition from cellphone games and an industry-wide slump. Last month, Nintendo reported a 52% drop in profit for the first half of its fiscal year, which ends in March, as sales of its Wii console and DS gadgets cooled. It also predicted its annual profit would fall for the first time in six years. … [Meanwhile,] Research firm DFC Intelligence says growth for dedicated game machines like the DS and PSP has peaked and Apple products will drive the portable game market over the next five years. Revenue from iPhone and iPod Touch games, according to DFC, is expected to rise from $46 million in 2008 to more than $2.8 billion in 2014. Meanwhile software revenue from dedicated gaming devices is expected to shrink 27% to $6.3 billion in the same period.”
There’s a lot more info at the Wall Street Journal link, so I’d encourage you to check it out. But long story short: if Nintendo isn’t afraid of Apple, it should be.