WhatsApp has announced that it is to cease support for a number of operating systems by the end of 2016. The company has revealed it will end support for BlackBerry legacy OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, and Nokia Symbian S60 by the end of this year.
Additionally, it will no longer support Android 2.1 and 2.2 or Windows Phone 7.1.
“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 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which account for 99.5 percent of sales today Ã¢â‚¬â€œ were on less than 25 percent of mobile devices sold at the time.”
With the exception of the BlackBerry 10 OS, the company are simply dropping older operating system versions. The BlackBerry 10 OS is being dropped due to a lack of userÃ‚Â numbersÃ‚Â on the platform. Ã‚Â Ironically, WhatsApp wasÃ‚Â one of the better BlackBerry 10 developers constantly improving and adding features to the app. Ã‚Â In fact, they updated their appÃ‚Â a lot more than BlackBerry updated their own apps.
While the company doesn’t mention updates before dropping the apps, I would assume that development and updates for the afore-mentioned operating system version are now ceased.
Unfortunately, it makes sense for a company to focus its efforts on platforms where theÃ‚Â vast majority of its users are on.
WhatsApp has evolved a great deal since its inception as a simple mobile-messaging app,Ã‚Â it now offers voice calls, and video calls are reportedlyÃ‚Â being added too. And it seems this, in part at least, explains why the company is looking to refocus its efforts in terms of the platforms it supports.
“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 has one piece of advice for any of its users who are still using one of the aforementioned operating systems,
“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.”