WhatsApp to drop support for older phones by the end of 2016

Following an announcement six months ago, WhatsApp has confirmed that it’s dropping support for certain older models of smartphone by the end of the year. A number of BlackBerry and Nokia phones, however, have been spared for another six months.

For a bunch of other phones, however, support is due to stop at the end of the month. We assume that means that if you already have the app on your phone, you can keep using it - but it won't be available for you to download in the app store, and it could stop working at any point.

"When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people's use of mobile devices looked very different from today," the company said in a blog post. "About 70% of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Mobile operating systems offered by Google, Apple, and Microsoft - which account for 99.5% of sales today - were on less than 25%.

"As we look ahead… we want to focus on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use."

The phones and platforms it's dropping support for are:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhones with iOS 6 or earlier
  • Android 2.1 and 2.2
  • Windows Phone 7

It's also going to stop support for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, and Nokia Symbian S60 - but not until 30 June 2017.

WhatsApp said: "While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future."

We're guessing security has a lot to do with the decision: older operating systems simply aren't as secure as newer ones, and WhatsApp is pretty big on things like end-to-end encryption.

If you're using a smartphone with one of the no-longer-supported systems, and still want to use WhatsApp, you'll need to either download the latest system update or get a new phone for Christmas.

Source: WhatsApp | Telegraph

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