- WhatsApp will stop working on some old phones, or rather very old phones, from January 1, 2021.
- So far, WhatsApp has not announced any change in its policy about support for old iPhones and Android devices.
- The phones that are supported right now - iPhones running iOS 9 or newer and Android devices on Android 4.0.3 and newer.
Of late, there are a number of reports saying that WhatsApp will stop working on some old phones, or rather very old phones, from January 1, 2021. India Today Tech also wrote about it WhatsApp will stop working on some iPhones and Android devices from January 1, here is the list, and we also clarified that most users will not be affected WhatsApp will stop working on old phones from Jan 1, but your phone is probably fine. However, as January 1 approaches, the reports are coming again. And again they say the same thing that WhatsApp will stop working on iPhone running iOS 9 or older, and Android phones running Android 4.0.3. The problem is that this is a news item that is more of a reminder, which too for something that is not happening, rather than news.
So far, WhatsApp has not announced any change in its policy about support for old iPhones and Android devices. And whatever the support policy is there right now has nothing to do with January 1, 2021. WABetaInfo, a twitter account that is fairly accurate about WhatsApp, too said the same thing a few days ago. It noted, "WhatsApp is not dropping the support for older iPhones. It's fake news."
So, what is going on? Let's first check the WhatsApp policy on support for phones. It says:
We provide support for and recommend using the following devices:
-- Android running OS 4.0.3 and newer
-- iPhone running iOS 9 and newer
-- Select phones running KaiOS 2.5.1 newer, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2
This policy came into effect earlier at the beginning of 2020 when WhatsApp dropped support for old iPhones running iOS 8 or older, and Android phones running 2.3.7 or older.
There is no change in this policy for now, although just to be sure we asked WhatsApp if there is some change, and here is what we were told:
At WhatsApp, we follow the industry best practice and cease support, over time, for older phones, requiring users to upgrade to newer operating systems to continue using our service. However, before any such action, we provide adequate notice to our users who would be impacted so that they can learn more about continuing to use WhatsApp.In other words, no policy change at the moment. All the news reports that say WhatsApp will stop working on the old iPhones and Android devices that don't run at least iOS 9 or something newer or Android 4.0.3 or something newer from January 1, 2021, aren't saying anything new. These old phones are already not supported. They are just talking about the WhatsApp policy change that was announced in December 2019, and somehow connecting it to January 1, 2021.
In other words, nothing is changing on January 21 as far as WhatsApp and phone support is concerned. The phones that are supported right now - iPhones running iOS 9 or newer and Android devices on Android 4.0.3 and newer - will continue to be supported on January 1, 2021. And all devices that are not supported right now, which are extremely old iPhones and Androids for which support was dropped in February 2020, will continue to be NOT supported.
So just to recap and make it clear: So far, there is no change in WhatsApp policy on supported phones. If WhatsApp is working on your phone right now, it will continue to work on January 1, 2021.