The average iPhone owner spends twice the average amount of time playing mobile games, according to a recent study done by Nielsen. The study also notes that 93 percent of customers who download apps have shelled out cash in the last 30 days to get their hands on a game, indicating that games are likely the most lucrative app category for a developer to pursue—and that iOS may have the most engaged gaming audience.
According to the study, iPhone owners are, by a large margin, most interested in quality gaming time on their smartphones. The average iPhone owner spent 14.7 hours playing mobile games over a 30 day period, while the average Android owner spent only 9.3 hours. The overall average for smartphone gamers, which includes platforms like Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry, is 7.8 hours per month.
Of course, the study doesn't control for the selection size or quality of games, which is no doubt a factor for some platforms. But games are still making the biggest impact of all the application varieties: they are the most popular category of app, with 64 percent of downloaders grabbing a game in the last 30 days. Weather apps (60 percent) and social networking apps (56 percent) aren't trailing far behind.
However, other types of apps aren't as proficient as games at enticing consumers to spend money. Only 76 percent of downloaders would spend money on a news app, for instance. Customers are most willing to spend money on games (93 percent) and "entertainment" apps (87 percent).
And when it comes to popularity, smartphone gaming beats smartphone learning: while 64 percent of app downloaders picked up games, only 11 percent got themselves an "education/learning" app.