Friday Mobile Roundup: Margaritas, Lodsys Redux, iPhone 4 & More

Industry Backed Group Tries to Help Developers Craft Privacy Policies: It’s a rather familiar storyline. Platform launches. Developers run wild. Privacy scare (often initiated by a fear-mongering Wall Street Journal story). Uninformed legislators latch on. Industry self-regulates before the government can do anything. And here we are again. An industry-backed group with involvement from Zynga, Facebook and AT&T launched a website meant to help developers craft privacy policies.

Distimo Reports The Obvious. People Don’t Pay For Apps in Android Market: The research firm reiterates what we reported four months ago. The firm says only two paid apps have been downloaded more than half a million times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date, while six paid apps have done the same in the U.S. within a two month timeframe.

Playfirst Launches Parking Dash: San Francisco casual game developer Playfirst expands its Dash franchise with another time management title called Parking Dash where players have to rearrange, sort and stack cars. The entire set of Dash games has been downloaded more than 14 million times, according to the company.

Gamevil’s Kami Retro Comes to the iPad: The 8-bit inspired game makes the leap from iPhone to iPad at a $2.99 price point. The title was developed by Paw Print Games and was published by publicly traded South Korean mobile gaming company Gamevil.

Microsoft to Revamp App Marketplace As Mango Update Comes Closer: The overhauled Marketplace gets a bunch of basic, but not really groundbreaking features, including but not limited to the ability to see screenshots, read reviews and share apps with friends and family on social networks. Purchases are charged against the credit card linked to a user’s existing Windows Live ID.

MargaritavilleTHQ Brings Margaritaville to Facebook and iOS — Core games developer THQ has announced a new Facebook and iOS inspired by Jimmy Buffett this week. Margaritaville Online is slated to release this fall and will allow users to create their own tropical paradise and explore an open world of parties and mini-games.

EA Hosts Another Major Holiday Sale — They’ve done it before and they’re doing it again. Expect iOS Electronic Arts games to top the charts in the near future as the big name developer is said to be hosting a 24 hour Memorial Day sale for its games, both domestically and internationally, says PocketGamer. Prices will be reduced by up to 85 percent.

MinecraftMinecraft Coming to Mobile — The incredibly popular indie PC game Minecraft is making its way to mobile in the form of Minecraft Pocket Edition. It will start with a release on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, but is slated for release on other Android devices and iOS as well. The game will have a greater unveiling at this year’s E3.

Millennial Media Acquires Condaptive — In the acquisition world, location-based mobile data startup Condaptive has been acquired by mobile ad network Millennial Media. No information on the financial details have been released.

PayPal Mobile Payments to Surpass $2 Billion — In a post from Mobile Marketer, PayPal mobile is set to surpass $2 billion in mobile payments by the end of 2011. In fact, it currently generates around $6 million in payments a day.

HTC Pays Microsoft $5 Per Android Phone — According to Business Insider, Microsoft is making $5 off of every HTC phone sold that runs the Android OS because of patent licensing fees. This is based on a report released by Citi analyst Walter Pritchard and is in regards to a patent settlement over an intellectual property dispute. Pritchard also notes that Microsoft is also suing “other Android phone makers” for around $7.50 to $12.50 a device. Asymco’s Horace Dediu goes one step further and infers that this means that Microsoft has earned five times as much from Android as it has from its own Windows Phone OS.

MocoSpace SpendingMen Outspend Women on Mobile Virtual Goods — According to a survey from MocoSpace, men outspend women 9 to 1 when it comes to buying virtual goods in mobile social games. Of the 1,500 users that participated, men not only played slightly longer (21 minutes versus 19 minutes for women), but 69 percent also bought virtual goods. 31 percent of women did the same. [image via VentureBeat]

Mobile Banking in Europe Grows 40% — Mobile uses continue to grow. In a report from analytics firm comScore, 20 million mobile users across the European nations of the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy are using mobile devices for banking in March. Additionally, the number of smartphone users involved in mobile banking has risen 40 percent since August of 2010.

Lodsys Goes After Android Developers Too: Everyone’s favorite Texan patent troll is at it again as some Android developers are also reporting that they’re receiving letters from Lodsys asking that they pay licensing fees or stop using in-app billing. Lodsys claims that Google itself is a licensee to the patent, although the search giant declined to comment to us on this.

InfographicNew App Store Infographic– An infographic from Chomp, 148Apps, and Chillingo has shown a great number of interesting stats regarding the Apple App Store. Not does it display revenue, timelines, and average app prices, but the infographic also notes that there are now 500,000 approved apps within the App Store from 85,569 unique developers; 37% of which are free.

China Holds Over 900 Million Mobile Phone Users — China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has released a report that the country has surpassed the 900 million mark in regards to mobile phone users. According to The Next Web, 11 million new users appeared in April alone.

Users Becoming “More Comfortable” with Mobile Purchases — According to ReadWriteWeb, location-based media firm, JiWire, has released a new report noting that 79% of mobile users are now more comfortable with making purchases with their mobile devices, with price ranges reaching over $1000. Additionally, the report notes that users are becoming far more involved with the use of local deals from companies such as Groupon.

Pocket Gems on Mobile Growth — Daniel Terry, chief executive of mobile developer Pocket Gems doesn’t believe that the growth of mobile games is a bubble, but that it is growth sparked by a change in the gaming market. All the same, he does state in an interview with VentureBeat, that in order “to win on mobile, it has to be the focus of your business.” Considering that Pocket Gems titles, such as Tap Zoo, have had over 30 million downloads, it is hard to argue with this statement. He goes on to say that “Mobile is absolutely the fastest-growing game business now. Huge businesses are going to be built on mobile.”