Millions could be prevented from accessing messages, photos and videos after WhatsApp confirmed it is to remove support for a number of old smartphone models.
From November 1, many must do without the popular app which offers free picture sharing across the world.
In less than two months, 43 smartphone models – both on Android and iOS – will stop working.
Users will lose the ability to send messages and snaps, or make video calls to family and friends, 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.
SIPA USA/PA Images)
Many will need a pre-Christmas trip to the phone shop following the company’s confirmation.
The following phone models will lose access to the service:
- 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.