WP 7 Predicted to Overtake iPhone; MS Says Don’t Hack Your Phone

Reports last week made it clear that Microsoft is seriously in the game and that the future will likely be a troika of Android, Windows Phone, and iOS, with Windows Phone passing the iPhone by 2015. This week I’ll point you to these reports, alert you to Microsoft’s warning regarding the “homebrew update,†and also to problems with an HTC update.

Windows Phone To Be #2 by 2015

Partly due to Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia, market research firms are predicting that Windows Phone will be a major player within a few years, reaching the number 3 spot in 2013, catching up to the iPhone in 2014, and surpassing the iPhone in 2015.

This is according to a report by Gartner, Inc. Android is expected to be the clear winner, capturing half of the smartphone market by the end of 2012, and staying at that level through 2015. An article on ZDNet compares Gartner’s analysis with a similar report a month earlier by Gartner rival IDC that came to almost identical conclusions.

And according to a brief report by Reuters, Nokia-Microsoft talks are going as planned and should conclude by the end of April. The report says they plan to release a bunch of Windows Phones in 2012.

11,500 Apps Available

A key to the success of Windows Phone is whether the platform will attract developers, since the availability of apps can make or break a smartphone. And the news has generally been good, with 11,500 apps now being available for Windows Phone 7.

In addition, according to a story by CNET, 7,500 of those apps are paid, while another 1,110 generate revenue via ads. Microsoft said that Windows Phone users are downloading an average of 12 apps per month. It’s impressive how far things have come in six months.

Be sure to check out PocketNow’s regular app roundup, in which they demo five top apps in 30 seconds each. Their most recent roundup included Big Pictures Downloader, Flickr, Gas Buddy, Hexic Rush, and XDQ-Developers.

In other app news, there is now an app for mass-texting — that is, sending a single text message to a large group of people. Read more about Group SMS on WMPoweruser.com.

News on Windows Phone Updates

Last week we noted a couple hacks, including the ChevronWP7 Updater, that let impatient Windows Phone users update their device without having to wait for Microsoft to make it available.

Two days later, Microsoft said, don’t do it and urged users to wait for the official update. And the developer of the hack removed it from his website and explained why.

Also, some HTC owners who had received the legit Microsoft update subsequently got a message saying an update was available for HTC phones. It wasn’t clear what this update offered, but some of those who updated found that it messed up their phones by decreasing the bit depth. Somehow these things just never seem to go right.

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