WhatsApp is ending support for Windows Phone, and old Android / iOS devices

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As time rolls forward we have to forget the past – that's what WhatsApp is doing, at least, as it's discontinuing support for a large number of outdated smartphone models over the course of the next year.

In a blog post, WhatsApp has announced it is to stop supporting handsets running the Windows Phone operating system as of December 31, 2019, and all phones on iOS 7 or older, and Android 2.3.7 and older, as of February 1 2020.

It's unlikely that too many people will be affected by WhatsApp ending support for these phones – there have been no new Windows Phone handsets since 2015, and iOS 7 and Android 2.3.7 are from 2013 and 2010 respectively.

In fact, Google recently released Android distribution stats, so we know only 0.3% Android users are on the ancient operating system, and only 5% of iOS users are on iOS 10 or earlier, so it's unlikely a large amount of people are going to be affected by WhatsApp's decision.

However the people that still do use these older phones are likely seniors, who don't need all the speed and flexibility of newer operating systems, and communication is important to this kind of audience, as it's likely the only reason they have a phone in the first place.

By discontinuing support for older phones WhatsApp is encouraging these users to pick up newer phones, but that could also stop these users, who are typically less tech-savvy, from keeping in touch with their family and loved ones.

If you own one of these older phones, you're going to need a new handset if you want to keep using WhatsApp – here is a list of the best cheap phones you can buy right now, so you can resume your WhatsApp messaging without breaking the bank.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.