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Is the iPhone really a kid’s console?

By on April 20, 2009

Leapfrog, the company famous for games for pre-schoolers, has just launched an iPhone game.

This is a massive shift for a company that has previously created its own hardware (such as My My First Computer, aimed at 3-6 year olds) and has never produced content for another platform.

What is most surprising is that the iPhone is typically seen as the preserve of the tech-savvy male. US research 12 months ago showed that the iPhone is mainly owned by young technophiles: half of them are under 30 and a third of them carry more than one mobile phone. More recent UK research shows that 75% of UK users are male, “mostly 18-44

These iPhone demographics are not due to any innate failure on Apple’s part, but because the iPhone is still very much a premium gadget.

It seems unlikely that many 3-6 year olds own iPhones, so the fact that Leapfrog is plumping for the iPhone rather than, say, the Wii, for its first non-proprietary platform, suggests this:

Leapfrog believes that a significant number of iPhone users are owned by parents with young kids, and that they will want to buy Apps for them.

If so, that’s  huge feather in Apple’s cap, implying that the ease of use and accessibility of the iPhone are so good that Leapfrog can harness the pester power of young children to sell Apps.

And if that isn’t an expansion of the market, I don’t know what is.



About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: