With more than 2 billion active users worldwide, WhatsApp has launched an in-app, end-to-end ecommerce solution in India. But it’s not yet clear how many of those users will be impacted by this information. According to WhatsApp, iOS 11 and earlier users have until October 24, 2022, to upgrade their operating system, or risk having WhatsApp removed from their devices.
By the end of October, WhatsApp will only be compatible with iPhones running iOS 12 or higher, according to Meta. Just over a month remains for certain iPhone owners with active WhatsApp accounts to upgrade their Apple products or permanently lose access to the messaging service. WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, has acknowledged that it would stop supporting any iPhone models that can’t run iOS 12 or higher.
Even for a company the size of Meta, with a huge team of employees working on WhatsApp, it doesn’t make sense to keep updating apps for iOS models that progressively fewer people are actually using. Time is better spent working on things like vital security updates for more widely-used versions of iOS. The main models that are going to be affected are the iPhone 5 and 5c, which can run iOS 11 but can’t run iOS 12 or any other subsequent operating system released by Apple. iPhone 4 and 4s users will be faced with similar issues for the same reasons.
It’s rather typical for apps to stop supporting older OS versions. Software developers frequently have to make difficult judgments about when to discontinue releasing upgrades for previous versions of operating systems.
If WhatsApp isn’t working on your iPhone, it won’t be due to the discontinuation of support for iOS 11 or below just yet. Even if you have an iPhone 5, you’ll be able to use WhatsApp until October 24 just fine.
The same fate will be suffered by users with Android devices running any Android OS that came before OS 4.1, commonly known as JellyBean. “To choose what to stop supporting, every year we, like other technology companies, look at which devices and software are the oldest and have the fewest number of people still using them,” a page on WhatsApp’s help center reads. “These devices also might not have the latest security updates, or might lack the functionality required to run WhatsApp.”