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Mobile (and more) Hardware Statistics
by Aras Pranckevicius on 04/08/13 11:16:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutraís community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Short summary: Unity’s hardware stats page now has a “mobile” section. Which is exactly what it says, hardware statistics of people playing Unity games on iOS & Android. Go to stats.unity3d.com and enjoy.

Some interesting bits:

Operating systems

iOS uptake is crazy high: 98% of the market has iOS version that’s not much older than one year (iOS 5.1 was released in 2012 March). You’d be quite okay targetting just 5.1 and up!

Android uptake is… slightly different. 25% of the market is still on Android 2.3, which is almost two and a half years old (2010 December). Note that for all practical reasons Android 3.x does not exist.

Windows XP in the Web Player is making a comeback at 48% of the market. Most likely explained by “Asia”, see geography below.

  • Windows Vista could be soon dropped, almost no one is using it anymore. XP… not dropping that just yet.
  • 64 bit Windows is still not the norm.

Geography

Android is big in United States (18%), China (13%), Korea (12%), Japan (6%), Russia (4%), Taiwan (4%) – mostly Asia.

iOS is big in United States (30%), United Kingdom (10%), China (7%), Russia (4%), Canada (4%), Germany (4%) – mostly “western world”.

Looking at Web Player, China is 28% while US is only 12%!

GPU

GPU makers on Android: Qualcomm 37%, ARM 32%, Imagination 22%, NVIDIA 6%.

  • You wouldn’t guess NVIDIA is in the distant 4th place, would you?
  • ARM share is almost entirely Mali 400. Strangely enough, almost no latest generation (Mali T6xx) devices.
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 capable devices are 4% right now, almost exclusively pulled forward by Qualcomm Adreno 320.
  • On iOS, Imagination is 100% of course…

No big changes on the PC:

  • Intel slowly rising, NVIDIA & AMD flat, others that used to exist (S3 & SIS) don’t exist anymore.
  • GPU capabilities increasing, though shader model 5.0 uptake seems slower than SM4.0 was.
  • Due to rise of Windows XP, “can actually use DX10+” is decreasing

Devices

On Android, Samsung is king with 55% of the market. No wonder it takes majority of the Android profits I guess. The rest is split by umpteen vendors (Sony, LG, HTC, Amazon etc.).

Most popular devices are various Galaxy models. Out of non-Samsung ones, Kindle Fire (4.3%), Nexus 7 (1.5%) and then it goes into “WAT? I guess Asia” territory with Xiaomi MI-One (1.2%) and so on.

On iOS, Apple has 100% share (shocking right?). There’s no clear leader in device model; iPhone 4S (18%), iPhone 5 (16%), iPad 2 (16%), iPhone 4 (14%), iPod Touch 4 (10%).

Interesting that first iPad can be pretty much ignored now (1.5%), whereas iPad 2 is still more popular than any of the later iPad models.

CPU

Single core CPUs are about 27% on both Android & iOS. The rest on iOS is all dual-core CPUs, whereas almost a quarter of Androids have four cores!

On PC, the “lots and lots of cores!” future did not happen - majority are dual core, and 4 core CPU growth seemingly stopped at 23% (though again, maybe explained by rise of Asia?).

FAQ

> How big is this data set exactly?

Millions and millions. We track the data at quarterly granularity, and in the last quarter mobile has been about 200 million devices (yes really!); whereas web player has been 36 million machines.

> Why no “All” section in mobile pages, with both Android & iOS?

We’ve added hardware stats tracking on Android earlier, so there are more Unity games made with it out there. Would be totally unfair “market share” – right now, 250 million Android devices and “only” 4 million iOS devices are represented in the stats. As more developers move to more recent Unity versions, the market share will level out and then we’ll add “All” section.

> How often is stats.unity3d.com page updated?

Roughly once a month.

> Some iOS screen resolutions are weird

The stats are for the resolutions that the game runs at. Some games run at lower-than-native resolution, that's how you end up with these "non standard" ones.


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Comments


Henry Fong
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A question that I'd like to ask is at what point does a UNITY based mobile game collect the hardware stats and whether it caches the stats for later upload if a user is initiating a game without an active internet connection.

As a mobile games publisher in China, there are 10's of millions of low end handsets that have difficulty running high-end Unity 3D games. In fact, if a game utilitizes a lot of heavy duty high-res 3D models, it may not even start on these handsets. That coupled with the fact that Unity 4 has discontinued support for ARM6 processors could lead to the skewing of hardware stats as the games may not even start on lower end handset which are prevalent in emerging (but fast growing) markets.

Would appreciate input into the stat collection process and whether this may impact the resulting stat collection.

thanks.

Chris Toepker
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Henry,
I had similar thoughts and questions, and poked around on the Unity site. Their privacy policy hints at how and when...

http://unity3d.com/company/legal/privacy-policy

Namely, in several places it says things like "When you install or play games or content developed with the Unity Editor...." which had me thinking that (in agreement with you), the data was going to be skewed.

However, a bit further down in the "Log Data" and "Cookies" sections focuses much more on the interaction during actual use. Which leads me to believe the data is not too skewed, in the end.

In other words, while there may be some false positives from those (in China) that simply install a game, but can't run it, accuracy is likely increased by the data collected from those playing regularly.

It's not iron clad, but for my purposes (today), it's OK. Would love to hear from you, and others, if there is more clarity to be had obviously.

Henry Fong
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thx Chris for doing the digging. I'm sure that the Unity stats are extremely useful for most markets (ex-China). Hopefully, Unity will reintroduce support for ARM6 support back into Unity 4 so we can stop doing back-ports of projects to 3.5x. :)

ben coleman
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Sounds like there is a need for a lower end engine for China. Unity should keep moving forward, which means it should only support so many legacy devices.

Henry Fong
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My opinion is that it's a matter of economics and timing for both Unity as well as mobile game developers that develop on Unity (and other engines). Mobile gaming is a global market and the Chinese market is starting to monetize nicely. The ARM6 legacy devices aren't going to be around forever, but when there are tens of millions of them still in active usage, I do question the need to discontinue support for them prematurely, rather than waiting another 6-12 months for these devices to hit the new upgrade cycle to better, faster ARM7 CPU's.

Carl Chavez
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Would it be possible to get the actual unit numbers, rather than just the percentages? That would be really handy for estimating target audience sizes and calculating unit revenue from them.

Even without unit numbers, getting these details is really handy! Thanks a lot!

Edit: er, never mind... I missed the bit about 250 million Android and 4 million iOS devices during my first read. :-)


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