Popular messaging platform, WhatsApp, is about to stop functioning on millions of smartphones.
People with older iPhone and Android models won’t be able to use the app after December 31 without getting an upgrade, as the messaging app will cease to function on 49 phone models, including older versions of iPhone, Huawei, LG and Samsung.
The messaging app said: “Devices and software change often, so we regularly review what operating systems we support and make updates.”
“These devices also might not have the latest security updates, or might lack the functionality required to run WhatsApp.”
“To choose what to stop supporting, every year we, like other technology companies, look at which devices and software are the oldest and have the fewest number of people still using them.”
The messaging service added: “To update your operating system on an iPhone, go to the ‘general’ settings and select ‘software update’. If your device cannot run the updated software you will need a newer phone to do so.”
“To keep up with the latest advances in tech, we routinely stop supporting older operating systems to point our resources to supporting the latest ones.”
While these phone brands have not been phased out and are still very much in the market, this development does not mean that WhatsApp will stop working entirely on these older phones. It just means the company won’t support them with updates. So, bugs and other issues may crop up over time without any available fix.
Also, there will be no access to any new WhatsApp features that get released. It may be possible to update the operating system on an older device and continue using WhatsApp as normal, but if the device can’t be updated to a recent operating system version, the user will need to upgrade to a newer phone.
This is the second time in the last three months that WhatsApp is phasing out support for a big chunk of Android and iOS devices.
This earlier happened in October, when WhatsApp announced that it would no longer support the iPhone SE, 6S, and 6S Plus, as well as 40 Android devices from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, ZTE, HTC, Lenovo, and Alcatel.
This time, WhatsApp confirmed that it will no longer support nearly 50 phones, including the Apple iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c. The rest of the phones on the list are made by Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, Lenovo, and ZTE.
According to Whatsapp, users of those phones will be sent an alert by WhatsApp before it stops working.