Games People Play – Now From the Smartphone

Are you going to the CTIA show in San Francisco this week? If so, do you want to know more about how consumers are using their smartphones? If you would like to set up a meeting with Compete during the show, please email Danielle Nohe at or find me on LinkedIn

Games People Play – Now From the Smartphone

King me…Goal…Come on Down! Games come in all shapes and sizes. And lately some of the most popular come small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. They are the games that smartphone owners are downloading to their phones. Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and Words with Friends are three games that were able to grab my attention. Whether I’m sitting in the airport waiting for a flight or ignoring the commercials during my favorite TV show, I can escape.

Games like these are getting a lot of attention and rank among the top purchased app lists week after week. I wanted to understand who was racking up the most hours gaming on their smartphone and what types of games are occupying their time.

Q. How often do you play games on your smartphone, if at all?
smartphone demographics for gaming

In the chart above, monthly players are in red, weekly players are in purple, and daily players are in blue. There was not much difference between how often female and male smartphone owners are playing games, but there is some significant difference when we look at the data broken out by age groups. The under 25 crowd enjoys using their phones to play games daily – 20% say they play games multiple times a day and 24% say they play daily – much higher numbers than their elder counterparts.

The under 25 segment has also, not surprisingly, added more games to their smartphones. On average, only 20% of Smartphone owners have downloaded more than 10 games. Yet 32% of those under 25 have downloaded more than 10 games. The most popular types of games among these gamers are Strategy and Puzzles. Speaking of the types of games played, here is where we see some interesting differences between women and men.

Q. Please select the three types of games you play most often on your smartphone from the list below.
what games on smartphones

All game players were asked to select the 3 types of games they played the most often. Women most frequently selected Puzzles, Cards/Casino, and Word. While men selected many of these same categories, they were also more likely to spread out their choices, over-indexing on Action / Adventure, Sports, and Racing games.

What type of games do you like to play? Let me know if you have any favorite games that I should check out!