Daily Mobile Lowdown: 8 Billion Apps In 2010; Taptu; NSN/Motorola


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Our look at some of the stories today in mobile: ABI gives its post-mortem on app downloads in 2010; Livewire reports full-year results; Taptu updates; and NSN/Motorola (NYSE: MMI) delays.

Apps: ABI Research has its latest figures out on how apps performed in 2010. The main takeaway: nearly 8 billion app downloads in the year — 7.9 billion for 2010.

Apple’s iTunes continues to dominate the market, seeing some 5.6 billion downloads, with Android apps (both from the Android market and third-party platforms such as GetJar) coming in at second place, at 1.9 billion downloads.

Although ABI doesn’t say it directly, one wonders if the sheer number of apps is part of the reason for the bigger numbers at Apple: Android Market has 130,000 apps while iTunes has more than double that amount. (Other reasons could simply be that iPhone users like apps more, and are more used to using them; or that Android has better web browsing experiences.)

RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) saw the third-largest number of downloads at more than one billion in 2010.

A couple of players worth watching in the year ahead: ABI highlights mobile operators, as more of them start to launch their own app stores in increasing numbers; and third-party platforms like GetJar, which raised $25 million to grow their business for cross-platform apps distribution.

Taptu: We’ve had Flipboard, and as of this week Zine. Now Taptu, another app that aggregates a person’s news and social feeds into one place, has also launched an update. MyTaptu 1.3.1 lets users mix streams created by Taptu from its StreamStore, as well as Bing RSS and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Reader sources; combined with their own selected feeds. What’s the big difference: in addition to offering pre-created streams, unlike the apps from Flipboard and Zine, Taptu doesn’t create magazine-like interfaces but focuses more on straight streams of information, Twitter-style. Content can then be read in-stream rather than going out of the app. The new Taptu is currently available for the iOS platform.

NSN/Motorola: This week was a bit of a washout for the sale of the networks business of Motorola Solutions to Nokia Siemens Networks, and the $1.2 billion sale will not close by the end of April, as originally projected.

This week, the Chinese regulators weighed in with a 60-day extension of its antitrust review of the sale. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) Siemens networks says that the proposed acquisition is currently in “phase three of the review process” with the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce in China (MOFCOM). “Nokia Siemens Networks remains committed to the acquisition but will provide no further guidance on when it is likely to be completed,” said an emailed statement.

The news comes after a setback in the U.S. as well, where at the end of February Huawei won a preliminary injunction against Motorola around the sale, in a suit that raised the question of whether IP from Huawei would end up getting transferred in the sale.

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