There is a significant different between the iOS version and other available versions of WhatsApp. iOS users pay a one-time fee whereas users on other mobile platform have to pay an annual subscription fee. However, WhatsApp is now planning to change this by also implementing a subscription model for its iOS users.
Currently, the iOS version of WhatsApp is available for a one-time download fee of $0.99. In comparison, the Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry versions of WhatsApp are available for free for the first year and then the users have to pay a token sum of $1 for every subsequent year.
The subscription model has helped the company steer itself clear of pushing any ads towards the users. Most apps are able to raise a lot of revenue by displaying ads, although users find such ads terribly annoying on their mobile devices. WhatsApp has been successful in being financially viable without resorting to the ads revenue, thanks to the subscription model.
Now, the company is planning to change the one-time payment of its iOS app to the subscription model it follows on other mobile platforms. Although the company didn’t say when exactly it may implement the change, the company’s CEO Jan Koum states that the shift will happen some time during this year.
However, the new subscription model for the WhatsApp iOS version won’t affect such iOS users who have already signed up for it. They will be able to continue using the app for free. The new users, however, will have to pay an annual subscription fee of $1/year.