The new WhatsApp update will prevent the popular messaging application from functioning on millions of phones starting January 1st of 2021.
Older Android and iPhone devices will no longer support the latest version of the app, forcing owners to either update their mobile operating system or buy a new smartphone.
However, Lebanese residents, who can’t afford to buy a new phone due to the devaluating local currency against the dollar, are pretty much left without a solution.
According to WhatsApp, any iPhone not running on the Apple update (iOS 9) or newer, as well as any phone not running on at least the new Android system (4.0.3), will no longer be able to open or operate the Facebook-owned application.
All iPhone models up to the iPhone 4 will be unable to support WhatsApp, as these phones are not capable of updating to iOS 9.
The iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S were all released before the iOS 9 system came out.
iPhone owners can still update to the operating system if they are able to do so.
On the other hand, Android phones that will lose WhatsApp include the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Desire, and LG Optimus Black.
Most of the 2 billion WhatsApp users around the world who own a relatively new phone will not be hit by the change, though the small percentage that will be affected by this new policy will likely comprise million people around the globe.
Phone set to lose WhatsApp support on January 1st, 2021:
Apple iPhone 1 to 4
Samsung Galaxy S2
LG Optimus Black
Motorola Droid Black
Motorola Droid Razr
Any Android device released before 2010
Phones that will need to update to at least iOS 9 or Android OS 4.0.3:
Apple iPhone 4s
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6s
Samsung Galaxy S3 and newer
Samsung Galaxy Note
Motorola Droid 4
Sony Xperia Pro and newer
WhatsApp will also update its Terms of Service starting next year, forcing users to agree to new privacy rules in order to keep using the popular messaging application.
WhatsApp confirmed the news to The Independent, saying that all users “must agree” to the new terms by February 8th of 2021, unless users want to lose access to their chats.
Phone owners can check what software their device is running on by reviewing the settings section.
Our team works tirelessly to ensure Lebanese people have a reliable alternative to the politically-backed media outlets with their heavily-funded and dangerous propaganda machines. We've been detained, faced nonstop cyber attacks, censorship, attempted kidnapping, physical intimidation, and frivolous lawsuits draining our resources. Financial support from our readers keeps us fighting on your behalf. If you are financially able, please consider supporting The961's work. Support The961. Make a contribution now.