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by bapenguin

Does the iPhone 13 Signal Apple's Intention to Conquer Gaming?

Let’s be honest about it: While Apple tries to create a sense of excitement whenever it launches a new iPhone, it has become a little bit overwhelming in recent years. Rather than blowing away potential customers with ground-breaking new specs, the marketing of most new iPhones tends to focus on things like better cameras, chip, processing power, and so on. Of course, its big rival, Samsung often does the same. Although, you do get something fresh from time to time, such as the Galaxy Z Flip.  

But with the release of iPhone 13 last month, there has been some speculation that Apple is putting a bit more focus on the gaming market. In the past, the company has been content to let other manufacturers – Asus (ROG Phone), Lenovo (Legion Phone Duel), Nubia (Red Magic) position themselves as the device of choice for hardcore mobile gamers. 

Mobile gaming market booming 

The company cannot ignore the ballooning size of the mobile gaming market any longer. That market is already huge. And it is predicted to grow at an average of 11% each year until 2030, when it will be worth somewhere in the region of $272 billion (this is according to a report by GlobalData). 

There is a rush for some big names to get a slice of this pie – you’ve probably seen the news that Netflix is to focus on mobile gaming. And, it seems that plenty of PC and console-focused gaming studios are wondering how to get some of their intellectual property optimised for the mobile gaming industry. 

While we see some crossover success, like Call of Duty Mobile, it’s not an easy task. Perhaps they should take some lessons from the casino industry? Since the late 2000s, developers of casino games, such as Playtech and Microgaming, have been optimising games for mobile, meaning mobile casinos have all the top games available on desktop sites, and vice versa.  

Apple exploring cloud gaming service 

But getting back to Apple and its iPhone 13. An article in GamesRadar suggested the company was being “subtle” about its gaming ambitions. It pointed to the iPhone 13’s 120HZ display, ITB storage and extra core GPU as being perfect for gamers. In addition, it also commented on the increase in ‘premium’ titles on Apple Arcade, including NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition and Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls. This is coupled with the rumors that Apple will be launching a cloud gaming service to rival Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming. 

Another article, appearing in GameByte, spoke of the iPhone 13’s supreme refresh rate, calling it “buttery smooth”. What both publications are getting at is that – despite Apple not blowing the doors off with the release of iPhone 13 – the hardware and software used in the device are now so well-optimised for gaming that it’s hard to ignore it as an option. 

Of course, there is a caveat – the iPhone 13 isn’t cheap. For the same price as an iPhone 13 Pro Max (costing well over $2000), you could probably buy a top of the range gaming PC and still have plenty of change left over. But then again, Apple would contend that you don’t buy this device for gaming alone. It’s a luxury smartphone that happens to be great for gaming, not a gaming smartphone. 

Does any of this suggest that Apple has caught up with its rivals in gaming? No. And to be frank about it, the iPhone 13 is not enough to change that perception. Even its new line of MacBook Pro’s have been singled out as bad options for gamers. Moreover, the brand lacks affordable and compatible accessories that mobile gamers require to truly enhance the experience. But if you are into mobile gaming and have the means to buy one, it offers an experience to match the best gaming smartphones. 

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