WhatsApp has become an essential messaging app amongst all kinds of mobile users irrespective of the operating system their devices run on. In February last year, Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced to end support for BlackBerry OS and Nokia S40 platforms, which got pushed back to June this year. It seems that the end-of-life date has been pushed back yet again, as the company has reportedly confirmed the extension of its services for BlackBerry and Nokia S40 platforms till December 2017 and December 2018 respectively.
As per a report by Netherlands-based fan website WhatsAppen, the WhatsApp apps for BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS7+ received an update on Monday that extends support for the platforms until December 31, 2017. According to the website, the changelog of the update, seen on devices, states “changed client end-of-life date to December 31, 2017”. This means that WhatsApp users on eligible BlackBerry devices will be continue sending and receiving messages, calls till the end of the year.
In addition, the Nokia S40 platform has reportedly got an extension for WhatsApp support till December 31, 2018 – however, this date may be a typographical error. Spotted by WhatsApp watcher WABetaInfo, the end-of-life date has been moved from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2018. There are a limited number of customers who use the Nokia S40 platform nowadays, but it will still bring relief to those who still carry the dated devices. However, Nokia Symbian S60 users don’t have much time on their hands as WhatsApp will end its support on the platform on June 30 this year.
If the reports are true, BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry OS7+, and Nokia S40 users still have ample time to access WhatsApp on their platforms. However, the Nokia Symbian S60 devices will cease to support WhatsApp and if you need your chat backed up, you can make a request to get the backup in an email from the company. Notably, there is no option on Nokia S40 and Symbian S60 devices to backup chats.
WhatsApp users still on handsets running the ageing BlackBerry OS and Nokia S40 and S60 platforms will not be able to use the popular messaging service after June 30. The Facebook-owned company will officially pull the plug on the dated Nokia Symbian software and the BlackBerry OS as July starts. This comes after WhatsApp delayed ending support for them by six months, from the original date of December 2016 to June 2017. The reason behind WhatsApp killing support for old Nokia and BlackBerry phones is that they don’t have the capabilities needed to add new features in the app.
The most widely used instant messaging app had last year announced that it will drop support for a few platforms. The company later extended the support until June 2017 after BlackBerry expressed its disappointment with WhatsApp’s decision to abandon the platform. Support for Android 2.2 Froyo, iOS 6, and Windows Phone 7 was ended by WhatsApp in December last year.
In its Support page, WhatsApp explains, “These platforms [Nokia S40, S60, and BlackBerry OS] don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 2.3.3+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp.”
Interestingly, the lack of support for the old Nokia Symbian phones is the reason WhatsApp will not work on the new Nokia 3310 feature phone. The Facebook-owned company has advised that anyone with the above-mentioned older platforms who want to keep chatting with friends via WhatsApp will need to upgrade to a newer operating system or a new device.
WhatsApp also clarifies that currently there’s no way users can transfer your chat history between platforms though the company will provide the option to send your chat history attached to an email, if requested by users. You can head to WhatsApp’s Support page to understand the steps.
WhatsApp had previously emphasised how much the market changed in the years since WhatsApp was launched in 2009. Recapping the market, the messaging service said that in 2009 Android and iOS platforms were running on less than 25 percent of the devices, while BlackBerry and Nokia’s operating systems dominated the market with roughly a 70 percent share. WhatsApp’s decision to pull the plug on Symbian and BlackBerry, however, recaps how the platforms have lost popularity.