|Train wreck said:
156M iOS devices sold in a single year will certainly have an impact on the gaming market. They will come from the low end and likely take their brain training/Nintendogs market out from under them. A large proportion of the Nintendo handheld game market is addressable with iOS devices, hence the problem of simplicity and gameplay overriding complexity.
Yes. If Nintendo let them do that they will. So far Nintendo hasn't even tried to cater to the people you talk about. They simply ignored them. Nintendo losing the mass market is not caused by smartphones it is caused by Nintendo not catering to the mass market anymore. What mass market games have they put out so far for 3DS? Nintendogs? Yeah at launch when there were no games, the system was completely overpriced and Nintendo focused on the 3D aspect of the console. Ironically Nintendogs is selling quite well right now. But there are no other games in that vein yet. Also the original DS was priced at $129 at this point in its life while the 3DS is $169 and the videogaming market is highly price sensitive.
Also low end customers are defined by Christensen as "customers who want the least features and are willing to pay the lowest price". Most smartphones are way more expensive than gaming handhelds (especially the contracts) and totally overshoot people who play games like Brain Training. Do you really think people in their 50s and 60s (the core market for Brain Training games) or parents buying gifts for their children will buy iPhones over a 3DS? The core market for smartphones are obviously people in their 20's to 30's who want to surf the web all day who can afford expensive products. Ironically... that's the Vita's audience.
Edit: And I'm really sorry you get quoted like mad right now. I just think it's worth pointing these things out.
um the iphone 4s moved 37 million units in Q1, shitting on anything the 3DS did, higher price and all, so yes. The device is simple enough so people in their 50s and 60s (the demographic least likely to have a cellphone) can easly adapt and have a device that does everything they need, without the need to carry anything else. Saying that smartphones are for 20s and 30s is just asinine.
I never said that. I'm very well aware of iPhones sales and the extremely high adoption rate of smartphones in general. But the core market is still people in their 20's to 30's. Nielson agrees with me: http://www.geekosystem.com/smartphone-ownership-by-age/
Also the question was "are they buying it over a 3DS?" Maybe a little. Both devices fulfill very different purposes. As for comparing sales of 3DS and iPhone / smartphones in general: Really? That's like comparing computer sales with sales of home console: Consoles just play games, computers do a lot more. And I'd never argue about sales here. Of course you are totally right.
But I think we shouldn't focus too narrowly on these things. My point was: Smartphones can't "steal" a market Nintendo doesn't cater to. I don't doubt iPhones would get a chunk of Nintendo's mass market - they certainly would. But Nintendo doesn't cater to that market anymore. They stated time and time again that their focus for now are the core gamers. Last year Iwata was talking to investors about their japanese sales slowing because teenagers didn't buy a Wii and how to adress that by producing more core games. So to wrap up my opinion:
1. Are smartphones eating into the mass market Nintendo adressed with the DS? Yes, absolutely.
2. Are Nintendo's bad sales caused by smartphones? Not at all. Nintendo doesn't even try to adress that market anymore. Hence the low sales.
3. Would Nintendo be able to produce another 150 million selling handheld? Yes because there was still room for growth. Smartphones would've eaten into Nintendo's sales but sales would've stayed extremely strong and Nintendo would've been able to compete directly by pushing out high quality software.
It's not point 1 where I disagree with you guys. It's the second one (and consequently the third as well).