We first looked at monetization on different devices back in 2015, with the latest models at the time being the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. Now that we have the new iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy 6 and 7, we wanted to look at how things have changed, using figures from the latest Android and IOS devices.
The prevailing wisdom in mobile F2P games is that iOS players monetize better than Android, but that blanket statement can’t possibly hold across all device types of all ages. Is it really true that a player with a four year old iPhone 4 is more likely to spend than someone with a modern, high-end Android device?
We looked at player data collected from over 300+ games on the deltaDNA platform to discover whether the age of a smartphone device affected the ability of a game to monetize.
Spender fraction for different iPhone models
Considering iOS first, and comparing data from March 2015 with January 2017, the chart below shows the spender fraction for the different iPhone models going back to the iPhone 4s.
Players on old mobile devices are much less likely to convert to spenders, with players on the iPhone 7 Plus being 3.9 times more likely to spend than players on iPhone 4.
Interestingly we see a difference between the two models of the iPhone 5, with the 5C displaying a markedly better spender fraction. Subsequently, we also see a marked difference between the 7 and the 7 Plus, with the 7 Plus performing a substantial 1.4 times better. Could this perhaps be due to the bigger full HD resolution screen for gaming?
Spender fraction for different Samsung S models
So, we know that old iPhone players are not terrific spenders, but are they still better than Android players? There are so many Android devices it is difficult to make a fair comparison, but there is one series of Android phones which has gone blow-for-blow with iPhone over recent years; the Samsung S series.
The chart above compares the spender fraction for the equivalent Samsung S series models, going back to the S2.
We see the same trend as in the iPhone series, with the 4 year old S2 having a spender fraction of only 0.8% and the modern S7 having a rate of 3.40%, similar to the iPhone 7’s 3.20%.
Players on older devices spend less
Of course, the Samsung S7 is one of the most expensive and high-end Android phones, if we were to look at the lower spec Android devices the numbers would not be as impressive. However, it is clear that when thinking about how your game is performing on different platforms, it is not enough to simply split iOS and Android.
Even though the S7 Edge has underperformed (which is in stark contrast to the significant uplift of the iPhone 7 Plus), Samsung, in general looks to have caught up the Apple devices with the S6, S6 Edge and the S7.
It is also not right to assume that these old devices will go away any time soon; in our analysis we saw roughly the same number of players across iPhone 6 and 7 models as well as the S6 and S7.
The reasons behind this trend are not immediately clear. It may be that players on older devices have less disposable income or are simply more frugal. It may also be that developers are bad at making their games playable on older devices, or that the improved gaming experience on a larger more powerful device encourages greater engagement and therefore a higher spend. What is clear is that without the ability to identify and segment players on different devices, it is impossible to really understand your game performance.
You can compare your game’s performance on different devices using our slice&dice tools. Sign-up to our full-featured free trial to see for yourself.