WhatsApp is axing support for older operating systems, including BlackBerry and Nokia

By midian182
Feb 29, 2016
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  1. WhatsApp has been around for about seven years now, and in that time, the instant messenger has increased in popularity to the point where it recently hit one billion active users a month. It’s this massive growth that is partly responsible for the company dropping support for several platforms, including BlackBerry OS (and BlackBerry 10), Nokia Symbian S60, and Nokia S40.

    In a recent blog post, WhatsApp pointed out that when it launched in 2009, 70 percent of smartphones were reportedly made by Nokia and BlackBerry. Today, Android, iOS and Windows phones make up 99.5 percent of smartphone sales, but back then the three operating systems were found on less than 25 percent of the devices sold.

    Additionally, WhatsApp said it will end support for Android 2.1 and 2.2, and Windows Phone 7.1.

    "While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future," WhatsApp wrote. "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."

    While the decision is unlikely to affect the vast majority of people in the US and Europe, these older OSes are still popular in developing markets (as is WhatsApp). While the company doesn’t specifically state when it will put its plan into practice, the blog suggests that it will slowly phase out support across the year.

    As you would expect, WhatsApp has suggested that anyone still using one of these old operating systems should upgrade their device if they want to continue using the world’s most popular chat app.

    Permalink to story.

  2. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +33

    "these older OSes are still popular in developing markets (as is WhatsApp)".

    Here in Indonesia as one of the large developing markets, it's getting difficult to find people with Symbian phones. You can easily see hundreds of factory or even low-wage workers have android-based smartphone on their hands. Sure nokia are known for their durability and such, but newer and perhaps disposable chinese smartphones has become too cheap to own. Not to mention the wide market of cheap second-hand phones.

    the fact that whatsapp use cellular data means the users would have to pay a monthly fee to keep the internet going. it doesnt make sense to keep their old symbian phones especially when many of them are not even equipped with wifi, which can help them save cellular data plans.

    I respect whatsapp for taking a stop to the symbian era. although the same couldn't be said for the android, wp or blackberry os.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,876   +1,297

    Stopped using Whatsup and changed my ph# the moment Facebook bought them out.

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