It looks like some game houses are dedicating large amounts of talent to developing for the i-ecosystem, which will now encompass the iPod Touch, iPhone, and the iPad–a device that is backward compatible with apps designed for the former two. The Wall Street Journal is saying that app developer Social Gaming Network is devoting up to 90% of its employees to creating content for iPhone OS apps, which already has 70 million devices in circulation and is expected to grow by about 5-10 million more with iPad sales this year by analyst forecasts. The dedication to the iPad may cause a strain on development for other platforms, including Android, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, webOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, and others.
Apple’s strategy of linking its mobile gaming/PDA device, smartphone, and tablet into one ecosystem seems to be paying off. Google, with disparate OSes between Chrome OS for smartbooks and tablets and Android for smartphones and other devices, cannot leverage the same power as the i-ecosystem. There are rumors that Microsoft will utilize its Windows Phone 7 Series OS to power the Courier tablet concept whenever that device will launch, but Apple would have already had a head start with the iPad and iPhone combo.
Apple’s single model strategy in each class of products per year also may help the firm as there is no fragmentation. This model is being adopted by Microsoft with the “Chassis” strategy and uniform hardware specifications to make it easier for developers to target advanced hardware features across all devices from different manufacturers. With Microsoft’s large devotees of Xbox gamers, it will be interesting to observe the gaming market and how developers will respond as Windows Phone 7 Series offers Xbox Live integration and the ability for developers to create a similar gaming experience for a game title to leverage three screens–the PC, the smartphone, and the TV via the Xbox. There was much enthusiasm and excitement for Windows Phone 7 Series development at GDC and MIX earlier this year, but until Windows Phone 7 Series is released, it appears that app developers may once again be distracted by Apple in the app development space.