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Apple has long been dominant when it comes to the iPhone’s ability to monetize mobile games at higher rates than rival smartphones. But mobile analytics and marketing platform DeltaDNA has found in a study that rivals are closing the gap.

For a decade, the iPhone’s polished user experience has always made it the smartphone of choice for gamers, with each player generally spending more on games than an Android user does. But DeltaDNA found that smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S and Google Pixel are not only closing the monetization gap, they are actually on course to exceed the iPhone in terms of the average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) statistic, a key measure of how much money comes in on a daily basis from the most loyal users.

The study also looked at the percentage of free-to-play (F2P) players going on to spend money each day when using the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, and Google Pixel smartphone models. The Samsung Galaxy S8+, the most recently released smartphone in the study, is not only generating the highest ARPDAU — it also has the largest payer fraction, as shown below.

Above: DeltaDNA has measured conversion rates for payers on various smartphones.

Image Credit: DeltaDNA

Earlier studies showed that newer smartphones always monetize better than their predecessors. In addition, models with super-sized screens also monetize better than their smaller-screened equals. But model by model, it’s clear that Samsung’s Galaxy S models are catching up.


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“The fact that iOS games monetize better that those on Android is well known, but what’s interesting is how the screen size and performance of the device contribute massively to strong monetization,” said Mark Robinson, CEO of DeltaDNA, in a statement. “It may have taken 10 years for anyone to make a smartphone that can challenge the iPhone for games. Our study shows that gamers certainly feel that the latest Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel devices aren’t far off.”

The study is based on 1.4 million players across North America in June 2017.

“As the power and performance of smartphones [continue] to increase, we can expect game monetization to also increase in step with this” trend, Robinson said.

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