PG.biz week that was: IGDA takes on Amazon, Android Market hits 3 billion downloads, Ovi Store does 3 million daily, Intel primes MeeGo, and WP7 is a slow burn
A talking point - although one that's yet to really catch fire - was the International Game Developers Association complaining loudly about the terms and conditions of Amazon's Appstore for Android. Patrick Mork of free app store GetJar agreed, and weighed in with his own Manifesto for App Stores.
GetJar's CEO Ilja Laurs did his own bear baiting, suggesting that operators were just dumb pipes who didn't or couldn't care about content. HandyGames' CEO Christopher Kassulke had an idea how they could save themselves though: releasing high quality free games with in-app purchases, just like the German publisher offers.
Jolly green giant
In-app purchases were causing problems however with the first class action filed against Apple with respect to the unauthorised purchase of in-app items by children. Still, proof that that's the way the industry is moving came with the news that Glu Mobile's freemium sharp shooter game Contract Killer has done 5 million downloads in just 2 weeks
Google's Android platform continues to generate plenty of headlines, particularly in a week in which the company announced its quarterly financials. As part of this, it revealed it was activating 350,000 Android devices daily and 3 billion apps had been installed from the Android Market.
Following on from last week's news about DoCoMo introducing Android Market carrier billing, this week US outfit Sprint followed suit, while middleware provider Urban Airship revealed it was filling the gaps left by the official Android IAP, at least in terms of handling downloads larger than the 25MB default.
Mobile ad network InMobi said that Android had overtaken iOS in terms of global mobile ad impressions, while rival Millennial reckoned its US share had dipped below 50 percent in the face of iOS and BlackBerry pressure.
We haven't heard much about Intel's MeeGo OS since Nokia dropped it for Windows Phone 7: rumours suggest the result of this and leaving Symbian behind will be 6,000 redundancies in Nokia's R&D department.
Intel is looking East to fill demand. It's signed a deal with Chinese online outfit Tencent to launch a Chinese Innovation Center to push games and apps for MeeGo tablets, while LG has joined a working group with ZTE and others to push MeeGo onto smartphones.
Nokia is looking to the present however. It's said over 5 million downloads were now being hosted by its Ovi Store every day, thanks in part to the ability of Series 40 feature phones to access the store.
In the MIX
Microsoft was making news at its MIX 2011 conference in Las Vegas. A new Windows Phone 7 chassis specification leaked for future devices running Qualcomm's Adreno 205 GPU, while the Mango update of the OS will include multitasking, faster app switching and deeper integration.
But some developers suggested they weren't making much money on the games they've released since WP7's October 2010 launch. "The number of sales is a bit disappointing so far," one told us.
Sony Ericsson had a conflicted week too. On one hand, it launched its own app channel on the Android Market. This annoyed some people because it changed the default UI, downgrading the My App channel.
It also launched a program with online instructions, so people could unlock the boot loader for some Xperia devices to play with the OS or install custom ROMs, but then it warned that doing so would void your warranty. Go figure.
Our little corner of the world
Aside from the larger news flows of the week, we interviewed a number of interesting companies who are likely to affect future developments.
TeePee Games' Tony Pearce explained how the company, which has just gained investment from Turner Europe, was building a recommendation portal for social and mobile games; Imperial Game Studio's Martin Flensburg talked about cross platform game making and the problems of Android fragmentation; while iDreamsky's Michael Chen revealed his vision for on building a Chinese Game Center for Android.
If you've read this far, you're obviously keen to understand what's going on in the mobile games industry, which means you'll probably enjoy the PG.biz Mobile Games Trends Report 2011, out now. Written by the collective brains of PocketGamer.biz, it's a look back and forward about how the business is changing.
And, if you want to travel and talk to similar-minded people, we'd recommend the AppNation conference in San Francisco on 27-28 April. We'll be there, and you can too, with a 50% discount.
Until next week...