WhatsApp to kill support for BlackBerry, Nokia

2016-02-29 10:54 - Gareth van Zyl, Fin24
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Johannesburg - Instant messaging application WhatsApp plans to discontinue support for its service on older smartphone systems such as BlackBerry and Nokia.

In a blog post on the weekend, WhatsApp said it will kill support for its app on the following operating systems by the end of 2016: BlackBerry (including BlackBerry 10), Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1.

READ: 5 WhatsApp messaging tips and tricks

Do you still use any of these smartphone operating systems? Tell us your thoughts on WhatsApp's move - will it force you to buy a new phone?

“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,” said WhatsApp.

“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,” said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp made the announcement a few days after the app turned seven years old.

“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,” said the company.

Android and Apple devices dominate today’s smartphone market.

READ: World's top 5 selling smartphone brands

Gartner research says that Samsung lead the world’s smartphone market in 2015 with a 22.5% share, while Apple followed with 15.9%.

Samsung, which uses Android as its main operating system, also dominates South Africa's smartphone market. According to 2015 data from the IDC, Samsung grew its local smartphone market share to 56.6%, ahead of Vodacom's smartphone brands at 7.6% and Huawei (6.9%).

Meanwhile, Apple has a 4% market share in SA, behind Nokia (now Microsoft) at 5.3%, the IDC data said.

WhatsApp earlier this year also surpassed the one billion user mark, according to its owner Facebook.  

READ: WhatsApp hits 1 billion users

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