WhatsApp is set to remove support for a number of old smartphone models from the first of November, which could prevent millions of people from accessing messages, photos, and videos from their loved ones.
It’s bad news for anyone who has taken care of an old phone for years, rather than buying the latest model every six months.
From November 1, 43 smartphone models – both Android and iOS – will lose the ability to send messages and pictures, or make video calls, using the encrypted messaging service. Smartphone models with Android 4.0.4 or earlier installed will become incompatible with WhatsApp, as well as iPhones with iOS 9 or earlier installed.
It means the following phone models will lose access to the app:
- Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, Trend II, Trend Lite, Core, Ace 2
- LG Optimus F7, F5, L3 II Dual, F7 II, F5 II
- Sony Xperia
- Huawei Ascend Mate and Ascend D2
- Apple iPhone SE, 6S, and 6S Plus
WhatsApp has added tons of new features this year – such as disappearing messages, joinable group calls, and stickers. It claims it is phasing out support for these older phones to ensure the app still runs securely.
The messaging app has lost a lot of users over the last year due to ongoing privacy concerns around its new terms of service. WhatsApp has traditionally marketed itself on offering secure, encrypted messaging, but announced wildly unpopular changes to the way it handles user data.
These changes would have seen user data handed to private companies to aid in marketing. WhatsApp U-turned drastically on the plans following a major backlash which has seen competitors Telegram surpass one billion downloads.
It seems big tech companies are closing in on anyone who doesn’t want to buy the latest kit every year.
Google announced that it plans to completely end sign-in support for older Android devices this month. That means anyone with a device older than Android 2.3.7 will no longer be able to access basic Google services that make their phones functional.
If you own one of the phones above, maybe it’s time to get down the shops.