This week saw rumours of the much-talked-about-but-never-seen iPad Mini rear their head again, with Bloomberg sources claiming Apple was readying a smaller, cheaper tablet for late 2012.
According to those in the know, said tiny tablet would help Apple "maintain dominance of the tablet market" in the face competition from devices like the Nexus 7. But is the Nexus 7 really an iPad competitor?
PocketGamer.biz deputy editor Keith Andrew doesn't think so, and I'd be surprised if Apple did either.
Both the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire are 'content-consumption devices', which is a nice way of saying that neither Google nor Amazon make any money from the hardware. Instead, they hope to generate revenue through on-device sales.
Apple's approach is so lucrative because, as well as reaping a healthy profit from app sales, it also makes a fair portion from the hardware: premium products with premium price tags.
That's not to say that the iPad Mini is an impossibility, but it does seem unlikely that Apple would feel the need to sacrifice its hardware margins to combat such nascent competition.
But that's enough blabbering, so let's swap the waffle for concision as we move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.Platform wars
- Mobile publisher Crescent Moon drops its iOS-only status to bring its games to Amazon Appstore.
- 411 developers have now gained more than 1 million downloads on the Nokia Store for Symbian.
- Carriers from around the world have pledged their support for Mozilla's Firefox OS, with Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, and Sprint all backing the HTML5-based project.
- Nokia board chairman Risto Siilasmaa has admitted that the company has "a contingency plan" to fall back on should Windows Phone 8 fail.
- Leaked RIM roadmap shows 2 new PlayBooks and 4 BB 10 handsets launching by Q4 2013.
- Rumours suggest that Apple will take the wind out of the Nexus 7's sails by unveiling a smaller, cheaper iPad by the end of 2012.
- Ice Cream Sandwich is only used on 10.9 percent of Android devices, with Gingerbread still the most commonly used OS version a year and a half after its launch.
- Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata says 3DS sales momentum is strong in Japan, but concedes that it's still weak in the US and Europe.
- Microsoft has no plans to launch a first party Windows 8 handset, saying WP8 OEMs are doing just fine on their own.
- Reports from China suggest Amazon has ordered 2 million units of Kindle Fire 2 for a launch in July or August.
- Samsung forecasts $5.9 billion profits for Q2 2012, as its Galaxy S III drives sales.
- Patent specialist Florian Mueller assembles details of 11 valid Apple and Microsoft patents that Android devices are infringing.
- A US judge dismisses all 12 of Samsung's summary judgements in Apple patent case.
- Court of Justice of the European Union rules that users have the right to resell digital content, although the decision is not without caveats...
- ...And games lawyer Jas Purewal ponders, "if the software was never technically capable of being sold to a third party in the first place, does this case change anything really?"
- Samsung's attempt to delay the sales ban of its Galaxy Nexus has been denied by US judge.
- Sony spends $380 million acquiring cloud gaming company Gaikai...
- ...Despite this, the Gaikai cloud gaming beta rolls out on Samsung Smart TVs just a few days later, suggesting Gaikai's existing agreements are unaffected by the acquisition.
- Mobile advertising outfit Jumptap announces a $27.5 million funding round to accelerate its business and technology, and prepare for its IPO.
- Investment bank Digi-Capital finds that mobile companies dominate games investment, taking 31 percent of cash so far in 2012.
- Mobile user acquisition outfit Fiksu raises $10 million in its B funding round.
- YetiZen Get-In-The-Game competition will see one of five competing start ups awarded funding at Casual Connect Seattle 2012.
- Spilt Milk hopes to crowdfund $15,000 for Smash The Block – but the cash is to reward its team rather than fund development.
- GameFounders invites developers to apply for up to €15,000 funding as part of its European gaming start up accelerator.
- PocketGamer.biz deputy editor Keith Andrew argues the Nexus 7 is a Trojan Horse for Google Play rather than an answer to the iPad.
- The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Mavens discuss whether or not Nexus 7 is the Android developer's dream.
- RedBedlam's Nick Witcher talks to PocketGamer.biz about MMO development, cross-platform play, and indie exposure.
- Guest columnist Anna Marsh, design director of Lady Shotgun Games, argues that great games are like great sex, and describes the intimate relationship between designer and player.
- Countly co-founder Görkem Çetin open source is best when it comes to app analytics.
- PocketGamer.biz talks to Gameloft, as we chart the making of Order & Chaos Online.
- Codemasters founder David Darling reckons consoles must adapt or die in the face of mobile revolution.
- PocketGamer.biz editor Jon Jordan is impressed by the monetisation efforts in NaturalMotion's CSR Racing, but he has to ask: where's the gameplay?
- Ste Pickford lays out Zee-3's design philosophy in a new regular design column from the Pickford brothers.
- Following 300 percent mobile growth in 2012, SponsorPay rolls out new monetisation products.
- Juniper Research expects in-app advertising spend to triple to $7.1 billion by 2015.
- Israeli start up youAPPi raises $1 million in its seed funding round to kickstart its cross-platform app recommendation system smartAPP...
- ...And a few days later, the company's CEO Moshe Vaknin speaks to PocketGamer.biz about smartAPP's technology, and why app discovery is important.
App Store struggles
- Apple's efforts to curtail App Store rankings manipulation may have resulted in legitimate developers being blacklisted from the marketplace.
- An App Store glitch causes newly updated apps to crash on launch, causing Instapaper creator Marco Arment to urge developers to postpone their updates...
- ...Apple claims App Store crashing glitch has been rectified, blaming the problem on a server bug. But the company's claims that only a 'small number of users' were affected don't seem to tally with reports.
- A lab expert from software security specialist Kaspersky discovers trojan application on App Store and Google Play.