More Rounding Errors

As a longtime game designer/developer, it’s very heartening to actually (a) like and (b) know how to develop software for a leading game platform. I’m referring, of course, to the iPhone/iPod Touch. Trying to get past hype to actual sales figures is a bit trying, but here’s a quick roundup of what I’ve been able to glean.

As of June 2009, there were:

  • 45M iPod Touches and iPhones sold
  • 10.2M iPods (of all kinds) sold in Q3 2009
  • 5.2M iPhones sold in Q3 2009

It’s worth nothing that the 5.2M iPhones sold in Q3 benefited from a million or so iPhone 3GS units sold just at the end of the quarter. Last year, Apple’s iPhone sales jumped from ~700k to ~7M the next quarter on the strength of the 3G launch — so it’s reasonable to expect the Q4 results will be much — if not quite so spectacularly — stronger.

Game platform sales in the US for August 2009 were:

  • Nintendo DS – 552,900+
  • Nintendo Wii – 277,400+
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 – 215,400+
  • Sony PS3 – 210,000+
  • Sony PSP – 140,300+
  • Sony PS2 – 105,000-

Let’s put that in perspective — the total number of games consoles of all kinds sold in August in the US was about 1.5M. Which is probably a bit less than the number of iPhones Apple sold in the same period, or the number of iPhones and iPod Touches Apple sold in the US during that period.

There’s a reason that competition in the App Store is so fierce — I’ve seen several iPhone games that are more compelling than anything I’ve tried on the Nintendo DS — well, until I get my hands on Scribblenauts. As for the horror stories about Apple’s approval process, you should read about Palm’s.