DreamWorks, Microsoft launch DreamWorks Dragons Adventure on Windows devices

Dragons-Adventure 650

DreamWorks and Microsoft have announced the launch of DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer on select Windows phones and tablets. Announced in October 2013, the game in inspired by the animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2, and sees gamers’ own real-world locations transformed into medieval villages in the style of Berk from the films.

The game is split into two portions for playing at home, or while on-the-go. The at-home portions see users completing missions to rescue dragons from dragon trappers. Users start with either Astrid or Hiccup and their single dragon companion, but can eventually unlock all six dragons with enough play time.

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Juniper Research: Smartphone shipments reached 980 million in 2013

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Research firm Juniper Research has released its latest report, measuring smartphone sales and shipments through the end of 2013. According to the report, global smartphone shipments reached 980 million in 2013, with 280 million shipped in Q4 of 2013 alone. This represents a 39 percent growth in shipments year-over-year.

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Nokia, DreamWorks announce GPS augmented reality game Dragons Adventure for Lumia 2520

Image via Nokia, DreamWorks

Image via Nokia, DreamWorks

Nokia and DreamWorks Animation have today announced Dragons Adventure, a GPS, augmented reality game for the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet that combines GPS tracking and LiveSight augmented reality to create a gameplay environment that mirrors the world around the player.

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Mobile apps news roundup: Mobile World Congress 2013 edition

Waze logo

Waze wins ‘Best Overall Mobile App’ award – The GSM Association (GSMA) announced at this week’s Mobile World Conference, which it organizes, in Barcelona that social navigation app Waze took home the Global Mobile Awards “Best Overall Mobile App” award.

firefox

Device manufactures pledge support for Firefox operating system – Device manufactures LG, ZTE, Huawei and TCL (aka Alcatel) all pledged its support to build devices that will run the upcoming open-source Firefox mobile OS, which supports web-based programming languages like HTML5 and JavaScript.

intel

Intel lifts the lid off Atom processor for mobile – Intel lifted the lid off its dual-core Atom processor, which it has developed for mainstream smartphones and Android tablets. The world’s largest chip maker will be throwing its hat in the mobile processor ring, which is already filled with the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia, Samsung, Marvell and more.

samsung

Samsung sets Galaxy S IV unveiling for March 14 – Although the announcement was made just before the Mobile World Congress event, Samsung announced that it will hold an event in New York City on March 14 to unveil the Galaxy S IV smartphone.

nokia-logo

Nokia and Samsung reveal budget phones – Finnish-based Nokia and Samsung both revealed new budget phones. First, Samsung’s Galaxy Fame budget phone packs a single-core 1GHz processor and runs the latest version of Android Jelly Bean, while the Nokia 520 is a Windows Phone 8 that features a 4-inch screen and five megapixel camera.

samsung

Samsung reveals Galaxy Not 8.0 – Samsung revealed the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet at the MWC this week. The tablet, which features an 8-inch screen, a 1.6GHz quad-core process and 2GB of RAM, looks to compete with Apple’s iPad Mini tablet for the mid-sized tablet market crown.

Nokia launches Inneractive-powered NAX mobile ad exchange

Nokia and mobile app monetization exchange Inneractive have joined forces to launch a  new mobile monetization platform called the Nokia Ad Exchange, or NAX for short.

Announced today at the Microsoft Build developer conference, NAX is essentially a white-labeled version of Inneractive’s platform, launched under the company’s private exchange line of services. Other companies that have created their own private exchanges with Inneractive include StackMob, Unity and Corona Labs.

NAX is cross-platform, and supports Windows 8, Android, iOS and Blackberry. The service will allow developers to to buy and sell advertising inventory through mechanisms such as real-time bidding and hybrid mediation. NAX will also have access to Inneractive’s stable of 120 mobile ad networks including InMobi, Adfonic and Amobee.

“With the launch of NAX, Nokia will enable developers to simply and effectively monetize their apps, as part of our continued focus on supporting the developers ROI to build successful businesses” said Richard Kerris, VP & Head of Global Developer Relations, Nokia in a statement.

The move is an interesting one, given that Nokia is primarily known for manufacturing mobile phones, rather than providing the services developers use on its hardware. However, with the company’s market share dipping and Microsoft partnering with other manufacturers to create Windows 8 smartphones, it makes sense for Nokia to diversify its product offerings and keep itself open to other platforms.

Using Inneractive’s technology also means Nokia can use its new ad exchange to help foster the Windows 8 app ecosystem, explains Inneractive’s co-founder and president Offer Yehudai.

“I think Nokia made a very interesting move when they opened the Nokia Ad Exchange to all platforms. I think it’s a very open minded plan,” he says. “Developers can use the Nokia Ad Exchange on any platform, and they can take ad revenue from one platform and use it to promote their apps on different platforms. If you have an Android app you can use that ad revenue in the exchange and use it to promote your Windows Phone application and vice-versa.”

Considering that iOS and Android both now have more than 700,000 available apps compared to the 100,000 currently available on Windows Phone,  it’s easy to see why Nokia would be interested in a solution that could be used to bolster the ecosystem the company is betting its handset business on.

Inneractive is backed by $8.5 million in venture funding from Evergreen Venture Partners and private investrors such as Andy Fruchter and Ehud Hillman. The company closed a $3.5 million round of Series B funding in August.

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8 operating system features and devices

Microsoft announced today the operating system details and hardware options for the upcoming Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft manager of the Windows Phone program Joe Belfiore today revealed the new operating features coming to Windows Phone 8 including a new lock screen powered by Live Apps, Data Sense, Kid’s Corner and Rooms.

During the Microsoft event in San Francisco Belifore revealed that the Windows Store now has more than 120,000 apps. He added that 46 of the top 50 most popular apps on other platforms will now be on the Windows Phone. Some of those top 50 apps include Temple Run, Urban Spoon, Angry Birds Star Wars and Where’s My Water? Pandora, in particular will hit the Windows Store in 2013 with a whole year of free music and no advertisements. Other new apps coming to Windows Phone 8 include Words with Friends, Chase, PayPal, Draw Something and more. Belifore also revealed that Microsoft has doubled the language support for the Windows Phone to 50 languages and Windows Phone apps are now available in 191 countries.Windows Phone 8 Lock Screen

In an effort to put people at the center of the mobile experience Microsoft revamped its Live Tiles and Live Apps so users can see the things they care about from other people including their latest photos, tweets and more. Users can now rearrange and resize Live Tiles however they see fit. A new lock screen powered by Live Apps allows users to see content, pictures and notifications from apps at a glance. Microsoft has also partnered with Facebook to bolster this feature by allowing Facebook photos to show up in the lock screen.

Windows Phone 8′s new Data Sense feature aims to help users get the most out of their data plan. Users can surf the web more and use less data through Data Sense’s software that compresses every web page. Microsoft says users can increase mobile browsing by 45 percent on the same data plan versus another handset without Data Sense. This new feature also helps users find nearby Wi-Fi hotspots on a map and helps users manage their data usage. Additionally, Data Sense can adjust appropriately as users approach the limit of their data plans.Windows Phone 8 Data Sense

Kid’s Corner allows parents to create a separate environment for kids using a Windows Phone 8. Parents can grant access to apps, music, games and more by simply checking boxes next to a list of apps.

Rooms, a new addition to Windows Phone’s People hub, lets users create particular sets of people from the main contact list with which they can share messages, photos and notes. The feature is similar concept to Google’s Circles feature. For example, a grocery list can be shared between a standard Family Room. Users of other phone devices like iPhones and Anroids can get part of the Rooms experience such as shared calendars.

Users can access documents and photos from a Windows 8 PC, tablet, phone and even Xbox with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service. SkyDrive is the first cloud service that fully intergrates Office documents from any Windows 8 device. SkyDrive offers 7GB of free storage, with the option to add more storage. Music can now be synced from a Mac, Windows Phone 7 or Windows Windows Phone 8 via a companion app. So users can now have their entire iTunes music library on their Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ended the conference by showing off multiple upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets including the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung ATIV S and HTC 8X. Nokia, who’s exclusively focused on Windows Phone development and is selling the most Windows Phones on the market, will be releasing its new Lumia 920 which features optical image stabilization and wireless charging capablilty. Samsung’s ATIV S features a 4.8 inch screen and long batter life. Lastly, the HTC 8X sports a built-in amp, Beats Audio and a wide-angle lens on the back-facing camera. All three devices from Nokia, HTC and Samsung feature Qualcomm Snapdragon processors that are made to optimize the Windows Phone 8 experience.

Developers can get their hands on the Windows Phone 8 SDK for free starting tomorrow.

Microsoft first took the wraps off its Windows Phone 8 operating system back in June, revealing a mobile operating system that will share the same file system and drivers as the Windows 8 desktop operating system.

Windows Phone 8 devices will begin going on sale in Europe this weekend and the rest of the world in November, with such devices including the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S. AT&T will be getting the HTC 8X, Nokia Lumia 820 and exclusive Lumia 920 on November 14. Verizon will be carrying the HTC 8X and exclusive Nokia Lumia 822 by Thanksgiving. T-Mobile will be receiving the Nokia Lumia 810 and HTC 8X on November 14. Lastly, Canadian mobile network Rogers will have the Nokia Lumia 920 on sale beginning tomorrow.

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.

Mobile app news roundup: Apple, Android malware, Big Fish Games and more

Apple helps devs complain about app copycats — Apple now gives developers the chance to report copyright infringing apps and content reports The Next Web. The revamped forms read in part:

If you believe that an application available in the App Store violates your intellectual property rights, you can use this form to submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

Apps on the App Store are made available by third party providers. Once you have identified the app and described the alleged infringement on the following pages, we will respond via email with a reference number and will put you in direct contact with the provider of the disputed app. 

Malware explodes, Android targeted the most — Security firm McAfee’s second quarter Threat Report has found 1.5 million pieces of new malware. On the mobile front, botnets and ransomware were the fastest growing category of malware. McAfee’s report was also bad news for Android owners — the firm found almost all the new mobile malware it detected during Q2 was targeted to Android devices.

Flurry expands mobile video ads to Android — Mobile analytics/advertising company Flurry has brought its mobile video ad service AppCircle Clips to Android, reports TechCrunch.

7 million Lumia phones sold — Nokia has sold 7 million Lumia model Windows smartphones, according to a tweet from VisionMobile founder Andreas Constantinou.

Rovio announces Bad Piggies – As heavily teased by the Finnish company, the green pigs from Angry Birds will soon have their own game. Bad Piggies will be available on iOS and Android. According to Fast Company’s exclusive preview, the game will be a physics puzzler.

 

Big Fish streaming service comes to Android tablets — Big Fish Games’ Unlimited Streaming service has made the jump to mobile, and is now available on Android. The service has been optimized for the Nexus 7, but doesn’t currently work on Android phones.

MoMinis brings PlayScape to entire game lineup — Israel’s MoMinis announced this week its PlayScape mobile social network and shared virtual currency will be available in all its titles. The service is available via Google Play.

Devs throw weight behind Kindle Fire HD – It may not be available yet, but developers are already announcing support for the Amazon’s new 8.9” Kindle Fire HD tablet. Gameloft has announced it will optimize The Oregon Trail: American Settler, Asphalt 7: Heat, Fashion Iconand Ice Age Village for the device with new features. Crytek’s physics Puzzler Fibble – Flick ‘n’ Roll will also land on the device with two new areas.

SocialCam’s API opens up — Third party developers can now create apps that use video creation and sharing app Socialcam’s API through its new developer program.

GREE signs 6 game deal with Capcom – GREE has signed a deal with Capcom that will see six mobile social games released on the GREE network by the end of the year reports Dr. Serkan Toto. Three of the titles, based on Dead Rising, Resident Evil and Monster Hunter, will be available on GREE’s global platform.

[Launch] Skylanders touches down on Kindle Fire – Activision has brought its lucrative children’s game Skylanders Cloud Patrol to Android via the Kindle Fire. Players will be able to purchase physical Skylanders toys from within the app. The game will cost $0.99.

[Launch] Zillow debuts iOS rentals app — Real estate listings company Zillow is expanding its mobile presence again, bringing its rental listings app to iOS. The app made its debut on Android earlier this year.

[Launch] Bubble Shot hits iOS – Independent Brighton-based developer Fat Fish Games has released its arcade bubble shooter Bubble Shot into the iOS app store.

[Funding] Ooomf nets $500,000 for app discovery platform — Montreal-based Ooomf has raised $500,000 from Real Ventures and BDC Venture Capital for its user-centric app discovery platform, reports TechCrunch.

[Funding] Snappli snaps up $1 million in funding – Mobile data compression service Snappli has raised $1 million in funding from VC firms Greylock Partners, Index Ventures and Angel Investors Simon Murdoch, Klaus Hommels and Alex Zubillaga.

IDC: As smartphone adoption evens out, by 2016 Windows Phone will be No. 2

Market research firm IDC estimates smartphone shipments will grow 38.8 percent this year, hitting 686 million units in 2012. But while Android and iOS lead the smartphone pack now, in the long term the company is predicting Android and iOS’ market share will decline, largely at the expense of Windows Phone.

According the company’s latest study, the combination of falling prices on devices and data plans, and high subsidies from carriers is boosting current smartphone demand. However, IDC expects smartphone market share growth will be less agressive this year, as the rate at which consumers switch from feature phones to smartphones begins to slow.

“The smartphone parade won’t be as lively this year as it has been in past,” said IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo in the company’s report. “The mobile phone user transition from feature phones to smartphones will continue in a gradual but unabated fashion.”

Looking forward, the company predicts by 2016 Google’s Android OS will still be the market leader but will have seen a significant portion of its userbase eroded by Microsoft’s Windows Phone — if Nokia can maintain its strength in emerging markets. IDC estimates in five years’ time Windows Phone will be the No. 2 smartphone operating system, passing Apple with a predicted 19.2 percent market share to iOS’ 19 percent.

Mobile Roundup: RIM, Funding, iPhone 5, Samsung & More

RIMRIM Lays Off 2,000 Employees — BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion has had its share of problems in recent time, and as a result it has laid off 2,000 of its employees. Additionally, RIM has expanded the executive roles of Thorsten Heins and Patrick Spence who will take on the jobs of COO of product and sales and managing director of global sales and regional marketing respectively.

Samsung to Potentially Become Top Smartphone Maker — According to Bloomberg, research firm Strategy Analytics believes that Samsung’s smartphone sales may surpass that of both Nokia and Apple. Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung has sold between 18 and 21 million smartphones during the last quarter, while Nokia is recorded at 16.7 million and Apple at 20.3 million.

Unfortunately, as reported by TechCrunch, and according to Samsung’s “new information policy,” the exact number was not released in the company’s Q2 earnings report.

Hidden Expedition[Launch] Big Fish Games Launches Game on Kindle — Casual and mobile games developer Big Fish Games has launched one of its early iPad titles on the Amazon Kindle, Hidden Expedition: Amazon. The now black and white hidden object game currently costs $4.99.

[Launch] Streamzoo to Challenge Instagram — VentureBeat has highlighted an interesting new photography app looking to compete with Instagram, dubbed Streamzoo. Not only does the application allow users to organize, discover, and share photos and video, but it also allows them to add various special effects such as borders, filters, and so on.

[Launch] Skyfire Converts Flash to be Viewable on iOS — TechCrunch has come across an interesting new mobile app from Skyfire. With their newly released VideoQ application, users can browse the web and through and mail links of Flash videos to video@skyfire.com and upon launching VideoQ, it will be converted and ready for playback.

[Launch] Qualcomm Augmented Reality SDK For iOS — Already available for Android, Qualcomm’s augmented reality SDK is now available for iOSTechCrunch covers. The beta version now allows iOS developers to more easily implement visual-recognition systems into their applications.

[Launch] BBC Launches iPlayer Service in Western Europe — According to VentureBeat, BBC Worldwide is launching its iPlayer streaming media service in Western Europe this week for iPad. The service provides on demand streaming for BBC programs and is slated for Canadian, Australian, and U.S. releases later this year.

Zombie Farm[Update] Zombie Farm Goes Social — The Playforge’s Zombie Farm has received a significant social update this week. The mobile farming simulation title, with zombies, has added in several social mechanics such as visiting friends, connecting to a social community, playing games of “Zombie Tag,” and sending gifts.

Angry Birds HD Receives Price Cut — Though the top paid iPad app was Sid Meier’s Pirates! for a short while, Rovio Mobile has reclaimed its top spot with Angry Birds HD. The sudden boost is due to the game’s first ever price cut, that has reduced it to $1.99.

All AT&T Android Phones to Get Gingerbread — Android phone owners received a bit of good news this week, as service provider AT&T has confirmed that all of its Android OS phones that were released in 2011 will be getting the Gingerbread upgrade, reports TechCrunch. This includes the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola Atrix 4G, Pantech Crossover, Samsung Captivate, and the Samsung Infuse 4G.

Alibaba Launches Mobile OS — China-based Alibaba has launched a new mobile operating system dubbed “Alyun OS” to compete against Android and iOS in China, reports BBC News. According to Alibaba president Wang Jian, “the cloud OS, with its use of cloud-based applications,” will provide mobile users with “a more open and convenient mobile operation system.”

iPad 3 Presumed for November Release — According to the Taiwan Economic News, the iPad 3 is to be created by device manufacturer Pegatron. Moreover, the tablet is expected to be released by Thanksgiving, based on reports from the China Times.

RIM Purchases JayCut — On the acquisition front, RIM has also shown activity, purchasing Swedish video editing company, JayCut. Fiscal details have not been disclosed, but JayCut will work to provide video editing capabilities to the BlackBerry platform.

Zokem Acquired by Arbitron — The four-year-old mobile research firm of Zokem was acquired this week by consumer research company, Arbitron. The total for the acquisition is approximately $24 million with $11.7 million paid already with an additional possible payout of $12 million through 2014.

Canvas Raises $1.2 Million — Canvas, whose platform helps companies create and distribute mobile business apps, has raised $1.2 million in a Series B round. The round was led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital.

Motorola Releases Q2 Earnings — Motorola Mobility released its second quarter earnings report this week, noting $3.3 billion in net revenue (28 percent higher year-over-year) with mobile devices revenue up 41 percent year-over-year, reaching $2.4 billion. Additionally, Motorola reports 11 million mobile devices being shipped with 4.4 million being smartphones. GAAP net loss was .19 per share and Non-GAAP earnings were .09 per share.

Angry Birds ChinaRovio Mobile Partners with Madhouse in China — Rovio Mobile is looking to expand its Angry Birds fan base deep into China by announcing its partnership with major Chinese ad network, Madhouse. Madhouse will drive Rovio’s marketing campaign, but additional mobile ad industry partners are noted to be announced soon. Currently, Angry Birds has been downloaded over 300 million times, globally.

[image via Rovio Mobile]

Spotify Hit with Patent Lawsuit — More out of hand patent infringement lawsuits arise as European company Spotify– who provides a streaming music service — as been hit with one from PacketVideo within two weeks of coming to the U.S. The issue is centered around streaming music itself; namely ”a device for the distribution of music information in digital form.”

Foursquare & Groupon From Partnership — According to Mashable, the companies of Groupon and Foursquare have formed a partnership in order to provide location-based deals when checking into Foursquare. Already live in Chicago, the feature is expected to span the U.S. and Canada by Sunday.

Android Continues to Top Smartphone Market — While many consumers are looking to buy an iPhone 5, Nielson is reporting that the majority of the smartphone market share still goes to Android with 39 percent. Apple currently holds 28 percent.

Interestingly enough, Asymco reports Apple still walks away with about two-thirds of overall mobile phone profits for Q2.

Nielson

Urban Airship Partners with SimpleGeo — The companies of Urban Airship and SimpleGeo have formed a partnership to provide better location-based data and services for mobile applications. According to comments given to VentureBeat from SimpleGeo, the two companies are “helping developers increase the relevance of push alerts,” by improving when notifications are sent based on proximity data. The example given is not sending a message when one friend checks in at a location, but if five did from the same, nearby, location.

Smartphone Sales to Top 1 Billion by 2016 — More postive reports on the growth of mobile as IMS Research has released a new report stating that by 2016, smartphone sales will exceed 1 billion devices. 420 million — 28 percent of the global handset market — is expected by the end of 2011.

Samsung Galaxy S II Hits 5 Million Sales — Adding to total global smartphone sales is Samsung. Their new Android handset, the Samsung Galaxy S II has sold 5 million units in 85 days after being released in both Asia and Europe this past April.

35% of U.S. Consumers to Buy iPhone 5 — Curiously enough, PriceGrabber has conducted a survey that displays an impressive demand for the iPhone 5 (which hasn’t even officially been announced). Based on responses from 2,852 individuals, 35 percent intend to buy the device if and when it is released.

Games & Entertainment Top Mobile Usage — Geekaphone has put together a wonderful infographic highlighting the astounding growth of the mobile games market. With the mobile entertainment industry, as a whole, worth $33 billion in 2010, mobile gaming is expected to be valued at $8 in 2011 and $11.4 billion in 2014.

iPhone 5[Rumor] AT&T Prepares for iPhone 5 Launch — While on the topic of the iPhone 5, according to Boy Genius Report, a “proven source” has noted that AT&T has begun to prepare for the iPhone 5 launch, informing employees to  complete training in preparation for an “influx of foot traffic expected in September.” Additionally, BGR notes that Apple Stores are hiring more staff for “new product launches.”

To further add to the rumors, 9to5mac.com came across some images of a “likely” Apple employee making used of what looked to be an iPhone 5 on a train in San Francisco. To further feed the rumor fires, 9to5mac.com has also supposedly discovered the iPhone 5 in Korean carriers’ inventory system.

[image via 9to5mac.com]

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