While the excitement builds for the release Apple iPad on Saturday(3rd of April), one has to consider the major impact the device will directly and indirectly effect other companies and products. While many are predicting how the Apple iPad will dominate the Amazon kindle or change the way we read or search the web i want to touch on the profound effect on the future of the handheld gaming market.
Nintendo and Sony who have for many years both dominated handheld gaming worldwide will now be challenged. So while some may be predicting that the iPad will only sell for 'non-tech savvy' consumers, I believe that view is short sighted. Consider the four Nintendo DS versions in five years (DS, DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL), have 125 million unit sales worldwide with 30 million DS units that have now been sold in Japan. Even Sony's PSP sold 60 million (as of December 31st, 2009).
So while Apple is not only providing a device as an alternative to a laptop or netbook, they are essentially providing a handheld gaming device as well. Is the product Nintendo or Sony selling that much better or different? In my opinion, those devices are now outdated and superseded by the release of this product.
Could Apple take a significant market share from Nintendo? I definitely think so, strategically Apple have proved yet again to be ahead of the curve, it has a huge developer base because of the iPhone (with approx 1 billion apps downloaded) and I think the games they will sell will be just as good as what Nintendo provides.
So while there probably won't be total domination because pocket held devices have a niche in handheld gaming, Apple will likely get a huge boon from the gaming aspect of the ipad game apps sales. I believe it could provide a similar product such as the Brain Age and Brain Training which have combined sold 17.41 million copies worldwide and essentially provide real competition in the handheld gaming market.
The views expressed are the subjective opinion of the article's author and not of FinancialAdvisory.com