Meta is pulling support for older handsets in its popular messaging app, meaning WhatsApp won’t work on iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c after December 31.

WhatsApp dropping iPhone 5/5C support on December 31

A report from GizChina claims that WhatsApp will soon stop supporting Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C and a bunch of older Android handsets. The cut-off date is December 31, 2022. This implies that WhatsApp will stop working on the iPhone 5 and 5C beginning January 1, 2023. However, it could be a few weeks before you can no longer use it on those handsets. Read: How to use multiple WhatsApp accounts on one iPhone

Meta, which owns WhatsApp, said earlier that it would require all iPhone users to run at least iOS 12. On October 24, 2022, an update made the widely used messaging app stop working on iPhones running iOS 10 and iOS 11.

“We support iOS 12 or newer, but we recommend using the latest version available,” WhatsApp clarifies in a support document. Both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C run iOS 10. Neither handset supports iOS 11, let alone iOS 12.

iPhone 5 and 5C are on Apple’s obsolete and vintage list

The iPhone 5 and 5C were released in September 2012 and 2013, respectively, as Apple’s last 32-bit phones. The iPhone 5S, which made its debut in 2014 as the world’s first smartphone running a 64-bit processor, succeeded both models.

Due to both models being 32-bit, Apple added the iPhone 5 and 5C to its vintage list. The handsets are still eligible for authorized repairs and technical support but are officially obsolete. The complete list of obsolete iPhones, iPads, Macs and other products is available on the Apple website.

How WhatsApp chooses what phones to stop supporting

WhatsApp regularly pulls support for older devices with operating systems that are several versions behind the current release. That lets it focus on developing new features rather than supporting outdated hardware that lacks the processing power or software features to support the latest features.

“To keep up with the latest advances in tech, we routinely stop supporting older operating systems to point our resources to supporting the latest ones,” it says.

Another support document provides further information about the supported operating systems. It also explains how Meta chooses what devices and operating system versions to support:

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. These devices also might not have the latest security updates, or might lack the functionality required to run WhatsApp.

If you see a prompt in WhatsApp saying your device will soon become unsupported, you’ll need to upgrade to a newer iPhone to continue using the app uninterrupted. WhatsApp claims you’ll be “reminded a few times to upgrade” directly in the app.

This content was originally published here.