Why Some WhatsApp fans face huge bill to continue using chat app

WhatsApp is making some more changes to its popular chat app and it could leave some users facing an unwanted bill. The Facebook-owned service has just announced that it’s ending all support for iOS 9 which means anyone with an older Apple device tucked inside their pocket will be forced to upgrade their ageing smartphone to continue sending messages and photos or making video or voice calls.

It’s not the first time WhatsApp has released an update that blocks users from accessing the app but it certainly won’t please those who will soon be without access to this hugely popular service.

Confirming the news, the company said: “WhatsApp for iPhone requires iOS 10 or newer. For the best experience, we recommend you use the latest version of iOS available for your phone. Please visit the Apple Support website to learn how to update your iPhone’s software.”

When WhatsApp changed things back in 2019 the company told millions of Android, iPhone and Windows users that they would need to upgrade their devices to continue using the service.

Explaining its decision, WhatsApp said: “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. This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp.

“If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone to continue using WhatsApp.”

If you’re worried about losing access then luckily this latest change should only affect a small number of iPhones.

Almost all new Apple devices are compatible with iOS 10 or later so as long as you have an iPhone 5 or something more modern in your pocket you should be able to hit the software upgrade button and continue messaging. However, for those that happen to have an iPhone 4s or older in their pocket then they may find that they’ll need to take a trip to the Apple store for an upgrade and that’s not going to be a cheap day out.

Even if this change doesn’t affect you there is something coming in the spring that will hit everyone no matter what device you are using. All WhatsApp users face being blocked from the chat service unless they sign up to the firm’s all-new terms and condition.

The Facebook-owned company is changing some of its T&Cs and not accepting them will mean you won’t be able chat, send messages or make calls.

In a blog post, WhatsApp confirmed: “WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app.”

This controversial update was initially planned to come into force back in January but after an outcry from users, WhatsApp pushed the changes back until May 15.