Angry Birds, Mad Money

Well, at least they’re not angry about money.

Finnish mobile games company Rovio Entertainment, creator of the hugely popular “Angry Birds” series of games, reported total revenues of US$98.3 million for 2011, according to The Guardian.

From The Guardian:

Rovio says that the total number of “Angry Birds” game downloads reached 648 million by the end of 2011, with 200 million monthly active users (MAUs) across all platforms.

As context for that figure, social games publisher Zynga had 21 million MAUs at the end of March 2012, while also acquiring U.S. developer OMGPOP, whose “Draw Something” mobile game currently has 33.9 million MAUs. Meanwhile, in March developer Outfit7 said it had just over 100 million MAUs for its suite of Talking Friends apps.

Thirty percent of Rovio’s revenue reportedly came from consumer products such as merchandise and licensing income.

The most recent incarnation of “Angry Birds” is “Angry Birds Space,” which was released in March and was downloaded some 50 million times over the first five weeks.

Evernote Eyes China

Evernote, the maker of the wildly popular cloud-based notation app, is planning to make headway in China.

Evernote has asked the Chinese government to approve a data center in China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The BBC was also on the story:

Evernote will have to comply with China’s strict regulation of Web services, which hampered the ambitions of firms like Facebook and Google.

Evernote recently received a (US)$70 million (pounds 43 million) investment.

The firm said it intends to use the money to expand internationally, especially in Asia …

The firm’s user base has tripled since last year — it now has 30 million users worldwide, and a data centre based in China could open a market that currently has 500 million Internet users.

While having China-based servers could be a boon, servers located in China have at times been subject to the edicts of Beijing. The BBC cites a 2005 case in which Yahoo divulged to Chinese authorities personal information of a Chinese journalist that was stored in Yahoo’s China-based email servers. The journalist was later jailed.

Evernote was recently valuated at $1 billion.

Here is another article about Evernote’s China expansion from Tech In Asia.

Where There’s Smoke …

A report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has identified a shoddy replacement screen as the culprit in the case of the smoking airplane iPhone.

Last November, a passenger’s iPhone overheated and started smoking after the flight touched down in Sydney. The device was doused with a fire extinguisher and didn’t cause any injuries, just anxiety.

After that, it was sent to the lab.

From The Register:

The ATSB sent the phone to the U.S. for examination under the eye of the FAA. What the U.S. facility turned up was a screw, removed during screen replacement, and misplaced inside the phone’s battery cavity.

According to the investigation, the passenger had the screen replaced, but not by an authorized Apple service provider. The missing screw, probably meant to hold the external 30-pin connector in place, had shorted the battery terminals to cause the problem.

The report details a laundry list of shoddy repair work, including screws in the wrong place, the removal of “liquid contact” indicators, a deformed metal clip near the battery and more.

In other words, it might be wise to just use an Apple outlet.

Iran Lectures Google on Credibility

Iran is irked with Google over Google Map’s failure to label the body of separating Iran from the Arabian peninsula, according to an AFP article, syndicated here by The Age.

From the AFP article: “Google fabricating lies … will not have any outcome but for its users to lose trust in the data the company provides,” a deputy in Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Bahman Dorri, told the official IRNA news agency.

Iran insists on calling the waterway the “Persian Gulf,” while the Arab countries of the oil-rich region insist on the term “Arabian Gulf” or simply “the Gulf.” …

“The enemies cannot hide facts and evidence about the Persian Gulf,” Dorri said.

“Documents in the UN and the UNESCO show the name of this body of water has always been ‘Persian Gulf’ since a long time ago.

“The efforts of (global) arrogance and its Arab allies to remove the name of Persian Gulf will result in its name becoming more durable,” he added in a reference to the United States.

This has long an issue in the region. According to AFP, Tehran in 2010 warned airlines that planes using “Arabian Gulf” on in-flight monitors were prohibited from Iranian airspace. In addition, the semantic dispute caused a Saudi Arabian sports federation to cancel sporting events after Iran used “Persian Gulf” on medals.

Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here.

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