Mobile app news roundup: Google, Nokia and Microsoft

Google’s mobile business worth $8 billion a year — Google earns more than $8 billion a year from its mobile advertising business and the Google Play store. CEO Larry Page revealed the new figure during the company’s Q3 earnings call earlier this week. Last year Google reported its mobile run rate was $2.5 billion a year, but that figure did not include revenues from Google Play.

Lumia sales drop, Nokia’s smartphone sales down 63% year-over-year — Nokia has reported a rough third quarter. The company’s smartphone sales declined 63 percent year-on-year. Lumia sales also fell to 2.9 million, down from four million in Q2. The company also reported a €576 million operating loss, and net sales of €7.239 billion.

Surface tablets get a price — Microsoft has announced how much its line of Surface tablets will cost. Surface with Windows RT will initially be available at three pricepoints: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.


Infinity Blade Dungeons delayed — Epic Games has delayed the release of Infinity Blade Dungeons to 2013, according to an interview with AllThingsD. The news is likely a big blow to Epic. Missing the holiday season means missing a large portion of new iOS users and sales. The previous title in the series, Infinity Blade 2, was able to break iOS sales records after its Dec. 2011 release, earning more than $5 million in a single month, a figure that became a high water mark for iOS earnings for the next several months.

Softbank acquires Sprint — Japanese telecom company Softbank has moved into the U.S. market with a $20 billion acquisition of Sprint, reports Tech in Asia. The move means Softbank is now the third largest telecom company in the world, behind only China Mobile and Verizon.

GREE has a busy week — Japanese gaming giant GREE has been busy this week. The company launched an open-source tool for creating Unity and HTML5-based smartphone apps called Lightweight SWF. The company has also added support for 12 new languages in its global gaming platform, and revealed it had bought a minority stake in Dutch online chat startup eBuddy.

Car Town going mobile — Cie Games has brought its popular Facebook game Car Town to mobile as Car Town Streets. The game will be a free-to-play iOS title. Note: A representative for Cie Games has changed the release date to “coming soon.”

Jumptap considering IPO, sale — Mobile advertising company JumpTap is considering either an IPO or a sale, according to a Reuters report. The company controls approximately 9.5 percent of the mobile advertising market.

Halloween sales hit the iOS App Store, The Dark Meadow is $2.99 — Phosphor Games is promoting the premium version of its first-person horror title The Dark Meadow, dropping the price to $2.99 in celebration of Halloween.

[Funding] textPlus raises $18 million — textPlus, the company behind the popular group text messaging app of the same name has raised $18 million in Series D funding from the Raine Group, reports The Next Web.

[Funding] Appy Couple nets $1.2 million — Wedding app startup Appy Couple has raised  $1.2 million in seed funding. ff Venture Capital’s John Frankel lead the round, according to TechCrunch. The service gives couple the tools to make their own personalized wedding apps.

[Funding] AppsBuilder assembles €1.5 million round of funding — AppBuilder, an Italian startup that provides a cross-platform development solution that lets businesses turn their websites into native apps for iOS, Android and Windows phone has raised €1.5 million from Italian angel investors Massimiliano Magrini and Mario Mariani, with participation from Vertis Venture and Zernike Meta Ventures to expand internationally, reports TechCrunch.