WhatsApp to drop support for BlackBerry, older Android devices
Instant messaging service WhatsApp announced it will soon no longer support mobile devices made by BlackBerry, Nokia and other older-model Android devices.
The Facebook-owned communications app with almost half a billion users, primarily in Asia and Europe, made the announcement in a blog post over the weekend, saying it plans to phase out support for a number of platforms by the end of the year.
After December, WhatsApp will no longer support devices that work on the following systems:
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1
- BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10
With the exception of BlackBerry's recently launched BlackBerry 10, most of the platforms being phased out are older and no longer have a lot of new activations on them.
The messaging service will continue to work, however, on the Priv since that's the first and so far only BlackBerry device to run on an Android platform.
WhatsApp said the company is making the move " to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use."
When WhatsApp launched seven years ago, almost three quarters of the world's mobile devices ran on software made by either Nokia or BlackBerry. "Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 per cent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time," WhatsApp said.
"This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp."