According to a recent study from comScore, smartphones are gaining popularity in the mobile gaming arena and Mark Donovan, the senior analyst at comScore, attributes it to teenagers.

“As the mobile phone has evolved into a better platform for both playing and merchandising games, the games being offered have also been improved, drawing in a broader user base,” observed Donovan. “Over the past year, we have seen mobile gaming expand into a broadening demographic, with strongest growth among teens, who previously eschewed their mobile device in favor of handheld gaming devices, and those 35 and older.”

The total number of users downloading mobile games in the U.S. grew 17 percent from November 2007 to November 2008. Low-end mobile phones, or non-smartphones, seen a 14 percent decrease in mobile game downloads year-to-year while smartphone game downloads increased 291 percent in the same period.  Overall, non-smartphones still have a large lead in total game downloads, basically doubling smartphones.

The iPhone was the biggest winner of all.  This could be attributed to the overall ease-of-use of the App Store coupled with the ability for developers to almost effortlessly make their games available to millions of users. The iPhone holds four of the top ten positions while holding the top three spots overall.  The 8GB iPhone 3G has the number one position, the first generation 8GB iPhone is number two followed by the 16GB iPhone 3G at number three.  The 16GB first generation iPhone came in seventh.

iPhone users accounted for 14 percent of the mobile game downloads in the month of November alone while 32.4 percent of iPhone users said they downloaded at least one game during that same month. That’s a hefty amount more than the market average of 3.8 percent.

Smartphones have become more than a business person’s device of choice, they are now becoming popular for the average consumer so it really comes as no surprise that Apple’s iPhone leads all mobile phones in game downloads. A premium games section for the App Store is starting to sound like a really profitable idea all of the sudden, isn’t it?