Chat apps have overtaken SMS by message volume, but how big a disaster is that for carriers?

Gigaom

There’s a reason why mobile carriers are scared of third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and here it is: people are now sending more messages over these services than they are text messages.

We now know this for a fact, courtesy of analysts at Informa. As Europe’s digital chief, Neelie Kroes, greeted the news on Monday morning:

Informa says 2012 saw nearly 19 billion messages sent over these apps each day around the world, versus 17.6 billion SMS messages. The analyst house reckons the contrast will be even starker in 2014, with 21 billion text messages projected, against almost 50 billion app-based messages.

As you will note, this suggests that SMS volumes will continue to increase, at least in…

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Gigaom

Russia’s Yandex has finally rolled out the alternative Android store that it was talking about last year, adding a major piece to its Google-rivaling suite of services for Android-based phones. The company now offers users search, maps, mail and apps, all without a Google(s goog) logo in sight.

“We are joining the game to contribute to competition that ensures freedom of choice for the end user and other members of the market,” Alexander Zverev, head of the Yandex.Store project, said in a statement.

Yandex is fast becoming a serious contender: its search dominance in Russia has helped it overtake Microsoft’s Bing on a global level (at least, measured by searches, rather than users) and it’s also becoming increasingly popular in the Ukraine and Turkey, where its Yandex.Store will soon open.

Yandex Store 2The store’s mostly free 50,000-plus apps include familiar fare such as Skype and Foursquare, but also local treats…

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