Last month WhatsApp announced that it will be removing support across a number of mobile operating systems. Notable devices that will be affected by this announcement are BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 7.1 and the Nokia Symbian S60.
Although predominantly used by the consumer market, the use of WhatsApp has recently escalated within business too. Not only does it provide a quick, easy and free way of contacting colleagues, but it has been widely accessible across devices, making it well suited to the increased uptake of BYOD.
Some may argue that BlackBerry devices already provide a WhatsApp alternative with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), one of the first free messaging services for mobile devices. However, the reason that WhatsApp has claimed the top spot in this market is exactly the reason that BBM never has, and that has to do with accessibility.
Regardless of who you work for, or which company has manufactured your device, you can download WhatsApp and converse with any of your contacts at no cost to you or the business. This compares with a licensed solution that could potentially cost the internal IT department large investment and time to roll out. It is easy to see how the lines between consumer and business end users has become so blurred.
So what does this mean for mobile resellers?
For those business users currently using devices that run the operating systems that are being struck off, upgrading their devices may be a more attractive option than the alternative of investing in a licensed messaging tool such as Skype for Business.
It provides the channel with a prime opportunity to contact mobile customers who are still in contract with the offer of a SIM-free device upgrade and the opportunity to extend their contract terms if they choose to take the offer.
Taking into consideration the operating systems that will no longer be supported, as a reseller you are then able to understand which devices you should be pushing to those customers, and which handsets will provide you with the best possible margin. When it comes to Nokia, the 225 provides a viable OS and is still a worthy option for business use, as are the Android 6.0 devices.
Not only will end users benefit from a newer device, they can also save money on a WhatsApp alternative. From the reseller's perspective it allows them to start up business conversations with their customers and potentially have that business relationship extended for another 30 months.
Educating your customers on updates such as these will show your expertise within the mobile market, and it will demonstrate your willingness to support your customers and their businesses.
Mobile resellers could really take advantage of the opportunity that the WhatsApp announcement has created.
Ricky Shock is Daisy's mobile product manager
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