iPhone owners love their gaming, according to a report due out later today from the NPD Group. The Portable Devices study questioned 3,258 people about their use of their Playstation Portable, DS, iPods, iPhones and smartphones from Sept. 16 through Sept. 23. According to the study at least half of the owners of these devices use them about the same or more today than they were three months ago. More smartphone owners are playing games than using business-related applications on their devices, according to the report. Despite the increase in gaming, the most popular purchase across the board is still music which averages 4.2 to 6 purchases a month. It will be interesting to see how game usage on the iPhone compares to gaming on other smartphones and gaming-dedicated devices like the PSP and the DS. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to check that out when the full report hits. I'd bet that I tend to use my iPhone for more gaming than I do my PSP or DS, mostly because I do a lot of short gaming sessions while killing time in lines, cars, meetings, etc, etc, etc.THE NPD GROUP REPORTS ON PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE USAGE PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, November 11, 2008 – According to Portable Devices, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, at least half of the owners of portable devices are using their devices about the same if not more today than they were three months ago. This is especially pronounced among smartphone owners, with 46 percent claiming they use their smartphones more. The report details the features and functions that consumers are most aware of and using on their portable entertainment devices including the Playstation Portable (PSP), the Nintendo DS, iPods, iPhones, and smartphones by examining feature use and awareness, purchased content, purchase influencers, the frequency of purchases and downloads, as well as the amount of money spent. According to the report, more smartphone owners are playing games than using business related applications on their device. Smartphone usage is still highest for their primary purpose which are the communications features including making and receiving phone calls, and sending and receiving email or text messages. Among iPhone users specifically, the application with the greatest increase in use over the last three months was playing games. Across all devices, music is yielding the highest average for purchase/download volume ranging between 4.2 and 6.0 purchases/downloads in a typical month. Primary gaming devices skew younger with over 50 percent falling in the 6-to-18 age range. Portable digital music players (PDMP) skew older with 68 percent of the owners measured age 19 or older, while 68 percent of smartphone owners are 35 and older. Despite the portable nature of all the devices surveyed, the top location for use of each device was in-home, which indicates that these devices may be competing with more stationary entertainment devices for a user’s time. Methodology The survey was fielded to an individual pre-identified sample of owners of portable devices such as portable gaming systems, smartphones and PDMP. The data was collected from 3,258 members of NPD’s online consumer panel. Fieldwork was conducted from September 16 through Tuesday, September 23, 2008.