BlackBerry smartphones will continue to enjoy WhatsApp support until December 31. Previously, it was announced that the chat app would stop all support for BlackBerry smartphones after June 30.
Extension for BlackBerry users
A few days ago, WhatsApp fan blog Whatsappen mentioned the extension of WhatsApp support for BlackBerry 10, but since there was no official confirmation, the details were a little bit hazy. Now a WhatsApp update for BlackBerry 10 confirms the extension report, and the change log accompanying the update notes “changed client end-of-life date to December 31, 2017,” according to CrackBerry.
There is no information on if WhatsApp support will continue for the older BlackBerry operating systems. Though BlackBerry got an extension, support for Nokia Symbian and S60 will no longer be available after June 30. However, WhatsApp will continue support for Nokia S40 until the end of the year.
This is the second time the support timeline has been extended by WhatsApp. In 2016, the chat app stated that the service would be shut down for BlackBerry smartphones by December 31, 2016. However, the service was extended to June 30 at that time.
Why is WhatsApp ending support?
Just last year when the Facebook-owned chat service decided to end support for all BlackBerry devices, it said that the platforms do not offer the type of support required to run WhatsApp. Further, it stated that users should upgrade to the newer version of the Android operating system 2.3+, a Windows phone 8+ or an iPhone (not older than iOS 7 version) to enjoy the service.
WhatsApp, on the other hand, is riding high on the success of its video calling feature. The chat app has a monthly active user base of 1.2 billion people who spend on average over 340 million minutes every day making about 55 million video calls. That sounds pretty impressive, considering how new WhatsApp’s video calling feature is.
Good news for BlackBerry fans
BlackBerry users who bought newer Android-based BlackBerry phones have nothing to worry about, as they can continue to use the WhatsApp service smoothly. For users with older BlackBerry devices, this extension of support comes as welcome news. More good news for BlackBerry fans might come later this week when the Canadian firm reports its results for the three months ending May 31 on Friday.
Investors will mainly be focusing on BlackBerry’s software segment, which is expected to see growth of 13% to 15% in fiscal 2018. However, in a note to clients in April, RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Treiber noted that the new opportunities are “difficult to value at the moment.”
BlackBerry is no longer making its hardware devices; rather, it has outsourced the work to China’s TCL. The Canadian firm has already announced that it will no longer be making smartphones on the new BB 10 OS; rather, all its devices will run on the Android operating system. Only recently, we saw the Android-based BlackBerry KeyOne, and last year, it was the DTEK60 and DTEK50.
In pre-market trading today, BlackBerry shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is up almost 56%, while in the last year, it is up more than 53%.