WhatsApp expands to Windows Phone 8, snubs BlackBerry 10
WhatsApp has updated its cross-platform messaging application to run Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) new Windows Phone 8 but says it does not plan to support Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) forthcoming BlackBerry 10.
WhatsApp--which enables users to share text messages, voice notes, photos and videos with contacts across the globe, without international messaging fees--currently supports devices running BlackBerry OS 4.6 and above. RIM is slated to release BlackBerry 10 during the first quarter of 2013, and the company issued its BB10 software developers kit earlier this month. When contacted by CrackBerry.com to determine its future BlackBerry plans, WhatsApp said "We have no plans to support BlackBerry 10 at the moment, sorry." Just 9 percent of mobile developers express strong interest in building BlackBerry apps according to a recent survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC.
WhatsApp for Windows Phone 8 is now available for download from Microsoft's Windows Phone Store. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) reports it collaborated with the WhatsApp engineering team to produce a version that is fully optimized for the Windows Phone 8 platform experience. WhatsApp is free to Windows Phone users for the first 12 months, and costs $0.99 per year thereafter.
WhatsApp also spans Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, serving a reported 100 million daily active users across more than 100 international markets and 750 mobile networks. Last month, advisory firm Analysys Mason called WhatsApp "the first large-scale cross-platform messaging app," noting that more than 45 percent of all smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS. Despite mounting consumer interest in more feature-rich mobile messaging options like WhatsApp, Analysys Mason reports that 97 percent of subscribers still use SMS.