WhatsApp is cleaning up and will soon no longer be available on some smartphones. As announced, the first mobile phones will fall off the grid by the end of 2019. In February 2020, some Android smartphones and iPhones with iOS will also be affected – but fortunately most users will not notice it, as it turns out.
WhatsApp: Support for old mobile phones will be discontinued
According to Focus, WhatsApp has updated an old entry in the official blog that lists the end of support for some versions of mobile operating systems. According to the announcement, it will initially affect owners of smartphones running Windows Phone. As of December 31, 2019, WhatsApp will no longer support the system as such.
However, the outcry from users is likely to be limited, as even Microsoft announced a few months ago that it will only offer software updates until December 10, 2019. Accordingly, it is not surprising that WhatsApp is now pulling the plug. Windows Phone has not played a role in mobile operating systems for quite some time. But WhatsApp wants to distribute a final update, it says: “After Microsoft’s recent decision to end support for Windows mobile devices in December, WhatsApp will release its final update for Windows phones in June.
No support for old Android and iOS versions
Also the end of WhatsApp support for older Android versions sounds more violent than it actually is. As of February 1, 2020, WhatsApp will no longer offer support for phones that are still running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread or older. Android 2.3.7 came onto the market in September 2011 and still has a market share of 0.3 percent according to official figures from Google.
The situation is quite similar with iPhones. WhatsApp does not want to support Apple smartphones that are still equipped with iOS 7 or older after February 1, 2020. If at all, this should only affect a very small number of users. Although Apple does not provide accurate statistics for older versions, it admits that 5 percent of all iPhones run iOS 10 or older. iOS 7 was released in September 2013.
How many users of WhatsApp still rely on Windows Phone or very old Android and iOS versions at all, was not revealed by WhatsApp in the announcement at the end of the support. However, the setting is a clear indication that they have not played a role in WhatsApp for some time.