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WhatsApp could stop working on older phones

WhatsApp updates may stop users messaging via the app on their phone

Whatsapp on a phone

WhatsApp users could be forced to upgrade their phones if they want to continue using the service as the firm behind the service has warned that it will stop working on older phones next year.

Affected Apple devices will include iPhone 3GS and other devices that haven't been updated to the newest operating system iOS 9.3.

First, second, third or fourth generation iPads that haven't been updated should also be affected.

Any phone running Android 2.1 or 2.2 will no longer support WhatsApp, including devices released between May 2010 and November 2011 by different manufacturers.

Other affected smartphones include Windows Phone 7, Nokia 240, Nokia Symbian S60, BlackBerry 10 and phones running on BlackBerry OS.

"While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future," a spokesperson from WhatsApp told the Liverpool Echo.

The app should stop working on most old devices by the end of 2016, while a few could still support the app until mid-2017.

"As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use," WhatsApp told the Liverpool Echo.

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