Angry Birds Wins $100,000 from Palm

The insanely popular app ‘Angry Birds’ has won the top spot in Palm’s PDK Hot Apps Competition and the $100K prize money that goes with the accolades. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change but not really a surprise when you consider how Angry Birds has become so popular lately. Palm and HP featured the game in a recent Palm Pre 2 commercial and Microsoft ‘accidentally’ posted the apps icon on its Windows Phone 7 (WP7) website even though Rovio—Angry Birds developer— is not developing a version for the platform (yet).

Rovio has managed to get more than a million downloads of the Halloween edition of Angry Birds in its first week of availability. The company is now selling not only the app itself, but custom Angry Birds ringtones and even has pre-orders available for Angry Birds plush dolls. Talk about apps becoming an integral part of the new economy. Who ever thought that a $0.99 game available for smartphones would ever start a line of plush dolls? The company did have its publisher—Chillingo—purchased by Electronic Arts (EA) for approximately $20M (Reuters) very recently and no word on how that will effect Rovio or its plans for the future. Hopefully the company has the chance to make more smash hits.

Besides just Rovio and Angry Birds coming out on top in Palm’s competition, Glow Hockey Free by Natenai Ariyatrokool won the ‘free app’ competition category and a $100,000 prize as well. Angry Birds won top spot in the ‘paid app’ category. Eight additional apps won $50,000 runner up prizes and another 30 apps won $10,000. Oh, and Palm/HP was generous enough to give another 100 app winners either a grand or a laptop. (HP acquired Palm earlier this year and has rebranded webOS as HP webOS but seems to be keeping Palm’s branding on smartphones so far.)

Congratulations to Rovio for taking the top spots in Palm’s competition. While I personally don’t find Angry Birds as enjoyable as some fanatics I have seen (I do play it occasionally though), it does seem to be all the app rage right now. Of course, the BlackBerry platform is still waiting to get its hands on the game…

Think Angry Birds deserved the top spot? Remember, this was a webOS app competition. Any HP webOS 2.0 apps that you have your eye on? Still hoping for more document editing support on the platform and wondering why Palm is rewarding game developers instead of productivity app makers? Let me know.

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