Popular messaging mobile phone app WhatsApp’s new update will prevent it from working on millions of older phones as of 1st January 2021.

Android and iPhone devices running older operating systems will no longer support the latest version of the app. Owners of such devices will need to update their operating system or buy a new phone if their device does not support newer operating systems. 

Any iPhone not running iOS 9 or newer, or any phone not using at least Android 4.0.3 (known as Ice Cream Sandwich) will no longer be able to open or operate the Facebook-owned app. 

All iPhone models up to iPhone 4, which are not capable of updating to iOS 9, will therefore lose access to WhatsApp. 

The iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6S, which were all released before iOS 9, can update the operating system to that version, thereby retaining their access to the messaging app. 

Android phones that will lose WhatsApp support include the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Desire and LG Optimus Black.

Phone owners can see what software their device is using by checking the settings section. For iPhone users, this can be found under Settings General >  Software update.

Phones set to lose WhatsApp support on 1 January 2021:

  • Apple iPhone 1-4
  • Samsung Galaxy S2
  • HTC Desire
  • LG Optimus Black
  • Motorola Droid Razr
  • Any Android released before 2010

Phones that will need to update to at least iOS 9 or Android OS 4.0.3:

  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6S
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Thunderbolt
  • LG Lucid
  • Motorola Droid 4
  • Sony Xperia Pro and newer

A similar update at the start of 2020 saw WhatsApp make the “tough decision” of ending support for even older phones.



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