WhatsApp messaging service. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: UAE consumers who are still using older versions of iPhones and Android devices will be at risk of not being able to chat on WhatsApp soon.

The Facebook-owned instant messaging service provider will ditch support for handsets running older operating systems about two years from now, it has been confirmed.

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In an updated blogpost, the company announced that from February 1, 2020, WhatsApp will no longer work on iOS 7 and older, as well as on Android versions 2.3.7 and older. Nokia fans who are still using an S40 can also expect WhatsApp to stop functioning on their devices from December 31 this year.

When WhatsApp will stop working on these phones:

iOS 7 and older (from February 1, 2020)
Android versions 2.3.7 and older (from February 1, 2020)
Nokia s40 (from December 31, 2018)

Affected users can no longer create new WhatsApp accounts although they can continue using the app until the stated deadline. 

“Because we’ll no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time,” the company also said.

It is not clear yet how many phone users in UAE will be affected, although shipment data suggest that older Android devices and iPhones have not been sold in the market since 2014 or 2016.

“Phones with those OS versions have not been shipped since many years,” noted Nabila Popal, IDC senior research manager for Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

Those who are still sticking to the old devices are advised to upgrade to a newer version, or to one of the following:

Android running OS 4.0+
iPhone running iOS 8+
Windows Phone 8.1+

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Once they have upgraded, users can resume chatting on WhatsApp using their old account by simply installing the app and verifying their phone number on the new unit.

However, they won’t be able to transfer their chat history between platforms and the only way to keep old conversations is by sending the chat history attached to an email.