iPhone eating into mobile gaming market

Apple's handheld devices have made a much bigger dent in the mobile gaming market than most people expected.

The iPhone and iPod Touch have stolen a march on the two giants of the hand-held gaming industry, Nintendo and Sony, grabbing almost 20 per cent of the market share in 2009 compared to just five per cent in the previous year.

The numbers, which were put together by industry bean-counters at Flurry, are based on revenue generated so are not artificially inflated by the thousands of crappy free games available on the iTunes App Store.

Sony's PSP seems to have taken the biggest hit with income down from 20 to 11 per cent, but Nintendo has also shed some cash with its market share falling from 75 to 70 per cent.

The April introduction of the third part of Apple's holy trinity of iDevices, the iPad, is expected to impact even further on the mobile gaming market but a new spec-free 3D DS from Nintendo could throw a spanner in the Apple works.