This IDC Survey summarizes findings from IDC's 2017 U.S. Gamer Survey as it relates to smartphone, tablet, and handheld game console (i.e., Nintendo 3DS/2DS, Sony PlayStation Vita) usage, spending patterns, and owner/gamer demographics. The specific platforms compared and contrasted in depth include Android smartphones (with Google Play), iPhones, iPads, Android tablets (with Google Play), Amazon (Kindle) Fire tablets, Nintendo 3DS/2DS, and Sony PlayStation Vita. Nintendo Switch is also briefly considered from the perspective of undocked (tabletlike) usage. The total mobile/handheld gamer n value was 4,502.
Previous IDC studies have noted that Android-based devices in many global regions/countries are catching up with, or at least closing the gap against, iOS devices in important per-user metrics, and a key goal of this study was to assess if this trend was also evident in the United States — a market that's historically been very iOS centric — last year.
"Smartphones consolidated their position as the cornerstone of mobile and handheld gaming in the United States in 2017. Tablets and handheld consoles bled share of the total gamer base, and it's clear that Android smartphone gaming particularly advanced in the marketplace last year. Interestingly, however, handheld console gamers remained unusually active, and since their demographic profiles and genre tastes remained fairly distinct from those of smartphone/tablet gamers, it's clear they'll remain an important segment of the market for years to come." — Lewis Ward, IDC's research director of Gaming and VR/AR