Is it an end of an era? It seems so. WhatsApp has decided to drop support to certain operating systems including Windows Phone 7.1 and Blackberry 10 and to focus on other mobile platforms the majority of people use. The decision is final, and the Facebook-owned instant messaging app will stop working on the following operating systems by the end of December 2016:
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Blackberry OS 7 and earlier
- Blackberry 10
- Nokia S40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Windows Phone 7.1
But if you have one of the latest Blackberry smartphone you don’t have to worry because WhatsApp will still work on it because it runs with Android. But why this unexpected decision and why now? If you have a look to the list above, you’ll notice that these are operating systems no longer installed on new devices (with the exception of Blackberry 10). And that’s why WhatsApp took this important decision.
The company has also given a detailed explanation to its many users trhrough a blog post on its website saying that: “WhatsApp turned seven years old. It has been an amazing journey and in the coming months we’re putting an even greater emphasis on security features and more ways to stay in touch with the people that you care about. But anniversary dates are also an opportunity to look back. When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – which account for 99.5 percent of sales today – were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time. As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.”
Furthermore, the company suggests its users (one billion all over the world) to upgrade to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.