Boutique video game retailer GameStop is looking to mobile hardware to expand its business, a new report claims.
According to Apple blog 9to5Mac, GameStop told dealers at a trade show in Las Vegas recently that it will start selling iOS-based devices in its stores. The company reportedly said that it will sell the iPad, iPhone, and iPod to customers across its stores.
GameStop has slowly marched toward the sale of iOS-based devices. Earlier this year, the company started offering a trade-in program on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod in a select number of stores. The company's president, Tony Bartel, told Gamasutra in an interview earlier this year that it planned to offer a nationwide trade-in program for Apple's products later in 2011.
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The company's reported decision to sell Apple's mobile devices in its stores seems to follow the industry's acknowledgement of the importance of mobile gaming today. Gamers are increasingly turning to mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, to enjoy a game. In fact, research firm Flurry Analytics reported in April that iOS- and Android-based games accounted for 34 percent of all 2010 software revenue in the U.S. portable-gaming market. In 2009, that figure stood at 19 percent.
But even as GameStop prepares to capitalize on that by selling Apple's mobile products, the retailer said earlier this year that it might jump into the hotly contested tablet market.
Speaking to GamaSutra earlier this year, Bartel said that his company is seriously considering competing in the tablet space, and would work with OEMs and manufacturing partners to develop a tablet featuring "a great gaming experience and coupled with a Bluetooth controller." However, he said that he's prepared to have GameStop chart its own path if its partners can't come up with something viable.
"If we can't find [a tablet] that's great for gaming, then we will create our own," he said in the interview.
GameStop did not immediately respond to CNET's request for confirmation of 9to5Mac's report.