WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app which is available for both iOS and Android, has announced that it will be terminating support for older smartphones as of January 1st, 2018.

The move, the company says, will allow it to develop new features for the platform without having to worry about support devices that are too old.

The move means that as of just a few days’ time the iPhone 3GS and older models will no longer be supported. Neither will any device still running iOS 6 or earlier. In the world of Android, anything running on Android 2.1 or 2.1 will also lose WhatsApp compatibility, as will BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 7.

According to WhatsApp, the way the mobile landscape looked back when it was released in 2009 has changed considerably and as a result, the service needs to change too.

“About 70% of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia,” the company explained.

“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.”

While the loss of the iPhone 3GS, devices with iOS 6 and Android 2.2 or newer devices will likely impact very few people, the dropping of support for BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 7 may impact marginally more. Regardless, we doubt too many will feel the pinch following this move and if they do, it might be a sign that it’s time to upgrade. Forget about Apple’s supposed planned obsolescence thanks to “batterygate,” the loss of WhatsApp is much more of a good reason to upgrade!

WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps around, alongside Facebook Messenger and competing services.

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