While WhatsApp has been a popular messaging app on smartphones for years, Facebook, now seems to want to get its messaging platform on tablets as well. Once ignored for not completely qualifying as a mobile device with phone numbers (that is what WhatsApp primarily works with), WhatsApp is now at least looking at Apple’s iPad, if not Google’s Android-based tablets.
The leaked data which confirms the news, comes from WhatsApp tipsters WABetaInfo. The website that is all into digging up the currently available WhatsApp beta and public builds came across references for a WhatsApp app for iPad in the WhatsApp desktop 0.2.6968 update. While the tweeted images simply shows a separate set of icons for iOS tablets, it seems to have some connection with the WhatsApp Desktop service that is currently used via a web browser.
“*I don't know* if the new iPad app will work like WhatsApp Web (so if it needs an Internet connection), or maybe they will use Facebook servers to do something else.
Also something about WhatsApp Desktop seems to change in future.” reads the tweet by the tipster.
While WhatsApp has yet to confirm the same, the Desktop app clearly, hints that accommodations are being made for an iPad app. What remains to be seen is whether the app will be based on the WhatsApp Desktop. Else WhatsApp could be cooking up something special to get on board Apple iPad owners.
New references about the WhatsApp for iPad app found in WhatsApp Desktop 0.2.6968 recent update.
It's sooo obvious, as you can see in the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/Nc07nEzxnN
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) November 11, 2017
So why is WhatsApp still ignoring Android tablets? Sales could be a reason. As per the International Data Corporation (IDC), tablet sales continue to decline year on year and quarter on quarter on quarter.
The latest Q3 2017 report which came out in November, shows that growth in Q3 2017 declined by 5.4 percent year over year. The drop also marked the “twelfth consecutive quarter of annual decline”.
IDC senior research analyst, Jitesh Ubrani said that there's a penchant for low-cost slates in the market and this holds true even for premium vendors like Apple. "However, many of these low-cost slates are simply long-awaited replacements for consumers as first-time buyers are becoming harder to find and the overall installed base for these devices declines further in the coming years." he added.
The same report hints that Apple is still on top (10.3 million units shipped) and this is primarily due to the company’s lower-priced iPads. Add to this the app developed specifically for the iPad (unlike what you get on Android) and the latest software update, and you have a recipe for success. Samsung comes next in line (6.0 million), but is nowhere close when it comes to shipments, which essentially gives you the reason why WhatsApp or any developer would not make the effort to build an app for Android tablets.