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WhatsApp to pull plug on support for older smartphones

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As 2017 comes to a close WhatsApp is updating its list of unsupported platforms. From December 31st the Facebook owned messaging platform will stop supporting older Android and iOS as well as other operating systems.

The move is hardly surprising given supporting software for such small numbers of people is often more hassle than its worth.

Those losing support include BlackBerry and Nokia who were big players back when WhatsApp was founded in 2009.

Also on the chopping block are some of the older operating systems from Apple, Google and Microsoft.

As the company explains “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% of mobile devices sold at the time.”

In an FAQ post on the WhatsApp website the following are listed as no longer supported

  • Android versions older than 2.3.3
  • Windows Phone 7
  • iPhone 3GS/iOS 6
  • Nokia Symbian S60

BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8.0 will continue to work but new accounts can’t be created and existing accounts cannot be re-verified. While this doesn’t force you to upgrade immediately it is recommended that you do so.

Google’s own figures published this year suggest less than 0.1% of Android devices still run on version 2.2. Froyo as this version is known was released more than seven years ago back in May 2010.

The latest Android phones run on version 8, known as Oreo, which was first released in August of this year.

Apple’s iOS 6 was released in 2012 and has been followed by 5 versions since. iOS 11 was released in September this year.

Given Apple’s greater control over operating system updates it estimates less than 0.03% of iPhone users still use iOS 6.

Windows Phone 7 was released in 2010. Microsoft recently announced the latest version, Windows 10 Mobile, will be their last.

 

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