How WhatsApp highlighted BlackBerry’s growing irrelevance

The era of the BlackBerry Operating System is gone. Even BlackBerry knows this, hence the unexpected move to Android for their latest device the PRIV but WhatsApp drove the point home last week when it announced on its 7th anniversary that it would be ending support for the BlackBerry OS at the end of 2016.

The announcement also includes their most recent flagship operating system Blackberry 10, which has failed to gain traction and help the ailing phone maker reclaim its lost glory in the mobile phone market since its launch in 2013.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Blackberry wasn’t the only mobile Operating system WhatsApp plans to stop supporting, the mobile messaging giant announced it was also ending support for Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1.

WhatsApp launched in 2009 when the likes of Nokia and Blackberry held sway in the mobile phone market, making up 70 percent. Then, mobile apps such as newcomer WhatsApp had to build their solutions around the operating systems provided by these companies. But as with the modern dynamic technology space, things have changed and the likes of BlackBerry and Nokia now make up about 10 percent of the market share as Google and Apple have emerged the new kings of the mobile phone market. WhatsApp has had to drop the old operating systems like dead weights to its growth as it recently reached a billion users worldwide since its $19 billion purchase by Facebook.

Infographic: Android and iOS Are the Last Two Standing | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

With a statement that sounds like what pop culture would refer to as a shade on Blackberry, WhatsApp said: “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.”

Blackberry isn’t also sitting down and taking the beating as the company has also begun to evolve with the launch of the android operating system on its new devices. The Canadian phone maker recently launched the Blackberry Priv which runs on Android’s latest Operating system (v5.1.1 (Lollipop)), a move hoped to start a turnaround in the company’s fortune.

However, BlackBerry says it remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 and will continue to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, but as we’ve heard from WhatsApp those would definitely be without the world’s number one messaging app.