[Our own Game Developer Research division, which includes various of us including the redoubtable Chris Remo, has debuted its first-ever research into iPhone games, suggesting lengthening production cycles and a diversification of game genres away from the still-dominant puzzle & word game sector. Yep, folks, the cute lil' iPhone is growing up - here's the details.]

Game Developer Research has revealed select results of its first ever State of iPhone Game Development report, helping to illuminate the growing but still largely undocumented iPhone and iPod Touch game software market.

While the iPhone game development market is still in its relative infancy, evidence suggests projects are becoming more ambitious and studios are becoming more sophisticated in their approach.

Select report metrics have revealed a trend towards longer development cycles for iPhone games currently in production, as follows:

For example, the number of games with 1-3 month development cycles among survey respondents dropped from 61% of completed projects to 41% of in-development projects. In a related trend, the number of games with 4-6 month development cycles rose from 25% (completed) to 47% (in development).

The survey also hinted at upcoming changes in popular iPhone game genres. The majority of developers are still working on projects in the extremely popular puzzle and word game genre (53%), but that’s somewhat decreased from 62% who’ve worked on completed puzzle and word games.

Other uncommon game genres are also expected to increase in number as apps get more sophisticated. 11% of respondents explained they had worked on completed strategy games, but 15% were planning strategy titles. Similarly, 11% were already done on projects in the story-heavy adventure game genre, with 21% planning such titles.

The full 39-page report uses iPhone App Store data and an anonymous survey of almost 150 current iPhone developers to outline a number of important data points. These include purchase prices for iPhone games, the effects of and reason for post-launch price adjustments on games, download number ranges, game porting trends, and many other vital stats.

“This survey shows the increasing importance and maturity of the iPhone game market,” said Simon Carless, director of Game Developer Research. "The open platform seems to be encouraging a multitude of developers to jump on board, creating an intriguing melting pot of short form and more sophisticated game titles."

For more information on the report, which should be extremely useful for businesses and individuals considering pricing and genre possibilities in the packed iPhone game space, please visit the official Game Developer Research website.