It is not uncommon for WhatsApp to end support for some devices each year. Given that the messaging service often phases out older cell phones, it is not surprising that about 50 devices will not be able to operate WhatsApp in the coming year.
The official WhatsApp statement on the matter said, “Devices and software change often, so we regularly review what operating systems we support and make updates. These devices also might not have the latest security updates or might lack the functionality required to run WhatsApp. To choose what to stop supporting, we, like other technology companies, look at which devices and software are the oldest and have the fewest people still using them every year.”
The least used and earliest operating systems and devices for WhatsApp are being retired. Currently, WhatsApp works with Android 4.1, iOS 12, KaiOS 2.5.0, and later.
A list of phones that will no longer have the access to WhatsApp are:
- Apple: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c
- Samsung: Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Core, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy Trend II, Galaxy Trend Lite, Galaxy Xcover 2
- LG: LG Enact, Lucid 2, Optimus 4X HD, Optimus F3, Optimus F3Q, Optimus F5, Optimus F6, Optimus F7, Optimus L2 II, Optimus L3 II, Optimus L3 II Dual, Optimus L4 II, Optimus L4 II Dual, Optimus L5, Optimus L5 Dual, Optimus L5 II, Optimus L7, Optimus L7 II, Optimus L7 II Dual, Optimus Nitro HD
- Sony: Xperia Arc S, Xperia miro, Xperia Neo L
- Huawei: Ascend D, Ascend D1, Ascend D2, Ascend G740, Ascend Mate, Ascend P1
- Wiko: Cink Five, Darknight ZT
- ZTE: Memo V956, Grand S Flex, Grand X Quad V987
- Quad XL
- Lenovo A820
- Archos 53 Platinum
- HTC Desire 500
It makes sense for WhatsApp to focus its efforts on the regions that still require them since the vast bulk of these phones have already been phased out. After December 31, the aforementioned phones should no longer be able to use WhatsApp. There are undoubtedly workarounds that will allow WhatsApp users to keep using the service on unsupported smartphones, but this only delays what will eventually happen.
WhatsApp states that whenever it decides which hardware and software to stop supporting, it looks at which are the least popular and the most out-of-date. This suggests that even if WhatsApp finds that many users continue to use a certain model of smartphone that is powered by a far older version of Android, it may still be supported.
However, as long as Apple and Google keep releasing new versions of iOS and Android, WhatsApp will do its part and stop supporting older devices that are running its program. In order to continue receiving the same level of support as other WhatsApp users, it’s just another trick to convince customers to upgrade to newer models.