Madden may rule the roost of NFL games for the most part, but one pesky little company still has a license for mobile phone-based NFL games, too: Gameloft. We covered NFL 2010 recently, and mentioned that it could give Madden a run for its money in the mobile space.
While Madden for the iPhone and iPod Touch was rumored before, EA Sports has formally confirmed the release of the game with some screenshots and a promise that it will be available "in time for opening day," which is September 10. Promising expertise that 20 years in the business can provide, the news release for Madden on the iPhone and iPod Touch is clearly cognizant that there is a competitor out there already.
One observation, looking at these screens, is that there's more than a little similarity between the interfaces of this game and NFL 2010. A virtual joystick on the left combined with contextual action buttons on the right will try to accommodate for the missing control pad in much the same way as Gameloft's title--although to be fair to Madden, it looks as if it has more action-button options on the offensive snap plays shown. Receivers look like they're color-coded based on how open they are, and it seems like tap-to-throw may also be the mechanic here, as it is in NFL 2010.
As for how it plays, we have no idea. It certainly looks more like Madden for the Nintendo DS than Madden 2010 for the Xbox 360. Stay tuned for "opening day," which is a couple of madden-ing weeks away.