WhatsApp has dropped support for Apple’s iOS 9 mobile operating system, cutting off users of older iPhones which are not capable of running more recent software.
This is according to a recent update on the app’s official FAQ page, which now states only iPhones running iOS 10 and newer are supported on WhatsApp.
The update comes days after WABetaInfo reported that the WhatsApp beta app for iOS had dropped support for iPhones running iOS 9.
iPhone users running iOS 9 or older should upgrade in order to use the latest version of WhatsApp for iOS – 2.21.50.
However, iPhone 4S owners will no longer be able to access WhatsApp on mobile at all, as the oldest iPhone capable of updating to this operating system is the iPhone 5.
It’s unlikely that this change will have a big impact on the overall iPhone user base, seeing as the iPhone 4S is now more than nine years old.
According to data from Device Atlas, 18 iPhone models accounted for 99.5% of the iPhones in use. The iPhone 4S is not included among these, which means it forms part of the remaining 0.5%.
It should be noted that this was even before the iPhone 12 was launched, which would likely have resulted in further phase-outs of older models.
WhatsApp normally communicates well in advance when it plans to discontinue support for certain operating systems.
In early 2020, it dropped compatibility with iOS 7 and older, as well as Android versions 2.3.7 and older.
However, this was only after it had notified users about the change all the way back in June 2019.
While reports in recent months have claimed that it planned to shed iOS 9 support in January 2021, these were rubbished as “fake news” by several publications, including WABetaInfo.
The plans now indeed appear to have been in the works, albeit for a slightly later date than originally reported.
For those users who still happen to use WhatsApp on an iPhone 4S, 9to5Mac has recommended that they export their chats before the app stops working completely.
It should be noted that WhatsApp’s supported Android and KaiOS versions have remained the same.