Consumer Electronics

What's Up With Apple: Sony Games Goes Mobile, Wearables Market and More

At Sony’s investor day on Thursday, the company announced that it plans to begin bringing more of its “iconic” console games to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets beginning later this year. It is reasonable to assume that those games will appear on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones and iPads.

Sony wants to expand profitability from its intellectual property into the faster-growing mobile gaming sector. As the following chart from the company’s investor day presentations indicates, mobile gaming is expected to grow from a $121 billion market in 2020 to $170 billion by 2025, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%. Over the same time period, PC gaming’s CAGR is expected to be 2% and console gaming is expected to grow by 7% as well, from $62 billion last year to $88 billion.

Video Games Chronicle cites Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan who commented, “PlayStation has a huge catalogue of diverse first-party IP that can transition to smartphone gaming and complement our AAA games or live service games. We are exploring the mobile market with some wonderful PlayStation franchises so please stay tuned.”

Industry research firm IDC on Thursday released data on first-quarter shipments of wearable products (smartwatches, headphones, fitness trackers and so on). Apple’s share of that market was 28.8%, more than double the share of second-ranked Samsung, which claimed an 11.8% share. In the first quarter of 2020, Apple’s market share was 32.3%

IDC noted: “Appetite for [Apple’s] smartwatches remained strong with the less expensive SE and Series 3 gaining further traction in the market while its earwear – inclusive of AirPods and Beats – showed sequential declines after reaching record levels in 4Q20.” Research manager for mobile device trackers, Jitesh Ubrani, commented:

Wearable patches, rings, and even audio glasses are starting to differentiate themselves from the typical watches, bands, and headphones by offering tech that is hidden yet functional. Audio glasses from the likes of Bose, Amazon, Razer, and others are also going a step further by allowing consumers to be more comfortable with being always connected and are working towards consumer acceptance of AR glasses further down the line.

In early April, LG Electronics announced that it was shutting down its smartphone business. Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday morning that Apple’s South Korean business unit will offer a trade-in program from LG phone owners as the company tries to expand its footprint in the home of its biggest rival, Samsung. According to the report, Apple will pay the trade-in value of an LG phone plus $135 to people who exchange their LG phones for iPhones.

Apple is trying to reverse a trend that saw 80% of LG’s V50 ThinQ smartphone users switch to Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Unfortunately for Apple, Samsung is running a similar trade-in program for LG smartphone owners.

Finally, on another front in the continuing battle between Apple and Samsung, the Korean smartphone maker has created several YouTube videos, including one featuring Korean band BTS, claiming to demonstrate the superiority of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera to the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera. ZDNet has the details.