Our rundown of mobile news to start your day. Nokia’s MeeGo payoff; what the ASP of today’s iPad tells us about what’s next; Square hits $1 million, and Disney (NYSE: DIS) hedges its bets between apps and HTML5 with a new acquisition. Read on for the details.
– Disney: Here’s one win for the open mobile web, or at least an example of how one big media company is clearly hedging its bets. Disney has bought Rocketpack, a Helsinki, Finland-based company that runs a platform to develop HTML5 games. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Techcrunch estimates the value to be between $10 million and $20 million. The company will become a subsidiary of Disney Interactive Media Group. What’s interesting is that while Rocketpack does develop its own games (such as Warimals, pictured), its main business is in offering its platform to other developers. Owning an asset like this puts Disney in the position of producer and aggregator rather than straight mobile content owner.
– Nokia: Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is putting the bulk of its effort now into making Windows Phone-based smartphones, but it is also trying to forge ahead with MeeGo…That is, if it can keep its developers on-side and away from the clutches of Intel (NSDQ: INTC) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG). A report from the Finnish newspaper Taloussanomat (via YLE) says that apparently Nokia is now offering bonuses of 50 percent of a MeeGo programmer’s salary if that employee stays on until the launch of the first MeeGo smartphone. The programmers have to hit three deadlines to get the payoff: end of July, end of September and end of December. Nokia has yet to give an official launch date for the device, which some are speculating will be called the N950, and it is unclear really what it plans to do with the OS in the longer term.
– iPad: Lots of numbers coming out of yesterday’s unveiling of the iPad from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), including some on pricing. Up to now, Apple has sold 15 million units and generated $9.5 billion in revenue. That works out to an average selling price of $633. 3G devices have proven especially popular. The iPad 2 will cost the same as the first model, but it may not be unrealistic for Apple to see more people buying the iPad 2 at higher price points: the next-closest competitor on the market, the Xoom, is priced nearly at the same level as Apple’s most expensive device ($799 for the Xoom vs $829 for the 64GB/3G iPad), and there is growing consumer interest in the device. More importantly, prices for older iPads are now dropping fast. And all this is setting the stage for an iPad 3 that will most likely be somewhat more expensive.
– Square: The retail mobile payments company is now processing $1 million in transactions per day. The news came via a tweet from Jack Dorsey, the company’s CEO who is also the co-founder of Twitter. That’s just a small dent in the billions of dollars per day done in retail transactions worldwide, but it is a huge leap for a service that only went live last year and originally projected to process $40 million in 2011. Square is not breaking out yet how many transactions are done via its dongle versus manual entry. The company takes a 2.75 percent cut for dongle-based transaction; but if users enter a card number manually (that is, not using Square’s own scanning dongle) then the commission is up to 3.5 percent, plus 15 cents per transaction.