The year might still be young (and the majority of the team still nursing new year hangovers), but there's been no let up over the last seven days on the pages of the home of news and views on the business of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology.

It's typical of this time of year that people are looking forward, evaluating what's to come with both excitement and trepidation: what platforms will be dominant in the future, and how developers will monetise their IP are both issues high on the agenda.

In the case of the former, Nokia's performance at CES 2012 looks to have delivered a PR boon for the Finnish giant.

Now with Lumia 900 on their radar – billed by many as one of the event's star handsets – analysts are upping their Windows Phone's estimates with gusto.

Lumia love

In particular, IHS iSuppli was especially vocal this week, claiming Windows Phone will surpass iOS's market share on a global basis by 2015, largely thanks to Nokia. Android will remain some distance ahead, however, expanding on what's already a mammoth base.

The release of Google's Q4 2011 financials this week illustrated just how mammoth: Android activations have now passed the 250 million, while even Android Market appears a forced to be reckoned with, with accumulated app downloads passing the 11 billion mark.

It's in light of this that Nokia's renewed smartphone assault appears even more interesting: the Lumia 710 – which can be picked up for free at Walmart – is undoubtedly a serious challenger to the numerous low-end, cheaper Android handsets currently on the market.

See you in court

One of the major drivers behind Android's growth as a whole, however, is Samsung.

This week saw the firm commit to investing more than $41 billion in the factories, research and development for its logic chips and OLED displays, signifying the same level of enthusiasm for its mobile hardware business it's recently displayed for its TV operations.

Such confidence, of course, flies in the face of the firm's continued legal tussles with Apple: the focus is currently on Germany, where Samsung is currently facing two new lawsuits against 15 of its devices by Apple.

Ironically, despite their respective grievances dragging on, IP expert Florian Mueller suggested the solution is quite a simple one – in theory, at least.

"The two companies may just need the courts to clarify the boundaries of Apple's exclusive design-related rights," he concluded.

One rival that enjoyed more luck against Apple this week is Motorola, with a judge in the US offering a preliminary ruling claiming the company has not violated any of Apple's patents.

The final decision on the case, however, isn't due until May, so there's still time for a complication or two along the way.

Whale wailing

Not to be outdone, there are plenty of developers also feeling out of their comfort zone right now - their main concern being monetisation.

Or, rather, lack of. Whale Trail developer ustwo kicked off proceedings by declaring an intention to go freemium.

Despite downloads of more than 140,000 on iOS to date, CHIEF WONKA mills™ claimed the game hadn't monetised as the studio had expected, declaring the premium model dead – for ustwo at least.

An Android version is to be Whale Trail's last play at premium – day one downloads coming in at the 1,500 mark – with freemium releases forthwith likely to pack in in-app purchases.

That's a wise move if IHS iSuppli is to be believed, with the firm claiming $5.6 billion of revenue will be generated by in-app purchases in 2015, equal to 64 percent of all app revenue.

But while all signs appear to be pointing towards a market dominated by freemium releases, one of its flagbearers – Zynga – has seen its practices called into question.

Location, location, location

This week saw Zynga confirm the acquisition of four mobile studios, signalling its intent in the market.

Yet Arvind Bhatia – an analyst at Sterne Agee – believes the firm's focus on expanding its userbase without pinning down a way of making money from its games will bring around its hasty demise.

"Not immediately, but down the road this is going to catch up with them – whether it takes three quarter or four quarters is hard to say. But our projection for the next 12 to 15 months is that growth is slowing significantly," concluded Bhatia.

Like social gaming, another area that held early promise for the industry was location.

The genre has arguably slowed down of late, causing to question those at its heart for their take on the current state of play, and where location-based games can go next.

A full rundown on all the articles can be found here, but highlights included Massive Damage's Ken Seto claiming location is no silver bullet for mobile games, PerBlue CEO Justin Beck recommending location-based studios don't get to focused on...well, location, and Will Luton of Mobile Pie's assessment that the golden age of the genre is already here.

"We're ready to say: no more half-way houses. Location is here and brilliant," Luton concluded.

Best buds

But if that sounds like a harmonious end to the week, it's hard to top SCE's recently appointed CEO Andrew House heralding 3DS's "exceedingly good" sales over Christmas.

It is, he claims, and example of consumer want for handhelds, dispelling the notion iPhone and co. have blown them out of the water.

"Normally we don't really reference the competition a lot when we talk about the PlayStation business, but in this case it's perhaps a little salutary that the sales of the 3DS - having the advantage of releasing a little bit ahead of us - have been exceedingly good," House said.

"I think that shows that there is, in general, a lot of demand for a gaming primary portable device, which is how I would describe Vita."

You see how he flipped it?