BlackBerry, Nokia Symbian, iOS 3 and Windows Phone 7 owners can breathe a temporary sigh of relief as WhatsApp has announced it will still be working on these platforms after this month.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced it would stop support for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, Windows Phone 7 and iPhone 3GS/iOS 6 at the end of this year.
This of course was not good news for the millions of Africans, including South Africans, who own a mobile that supports any of the above operating systems, but it was inevitable.
“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 explained at the time.
The company recently updated the blog post where the announcement was made to add that the deadline has now been extended to 30th June 2017.
The reason for the extension has not been stated, but it could be that the company realised that so many of its users in developing areas such as Africa and India still own a mobile which supports either of the platforms and are counting on the growth of $50 smartphones (particularly Android phones priced at around R600 and below which are becoming more accessible) to help lower the number of people who will be affected by the cut-off.
The alternatives for those still using these phones by then is either to find another instant messaging service to use or to buy a handset that supports WhatsApp.