BlackBerry has just suffered another blow to its hopes of survival. WhatsApp has just announced the end of support for the BlackBerry ecosystem, including BlackBerry 10, the OS designed to save the business.
The reason? BlackBerry is just not popular enough in 2016, and WhatsApp wants “to concentrate [its] efforts on the mobile platforms that the vast majority of people use ”. Ouch. In a blog post, WhatsApp explains that it is discontinuing support for a number of operating systems, but unfortunately for BlackBerry, BlackBerry 10 is the only contemporary operating system to be discontinued. Support for affected systems will end by 2017.
- BlackBerry, including BlackBerry 10
- Nokia s40
- Nokia Symbian S60
- Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
- Windows Phone 7.1
The decline of the BlackBerry
In the same article, WhatsApp compares the mobile landscape of 2009 to that of today, and the numbers tell the story. According to WhatsApp, in 2009 around 70% of smartphones were BlackBerry and Nokia phones. Phones with Google, Apple and Microsoft operating systems now account for 99.5% of sales, up from 25% in 2009.
What to do if you have a BlackBerry device
If you want to use WhatsApp, you will have to ditch your BlackBerry. WhatsApp simply says: “We recommend that you upgrade to a newer version of Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp. But, if you are still ready to use the messaging app with a BlackBerry, you can always buy a BlackBerry Priv on Android. So there is that.