watchOS 11 said to remove support for Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 is allegedly missing from the watchOS 11 device compatibility list and won’t be officially supported when the update launches this fall.

Tim Cook sitting at a table outside the Apple Park headquarters

While watchOS 10 supports the same Apple Watch models as the previous watchOS 9 software, that might change with the arrival of watchOS 11 in the fall.

French-language iPhoneSoft claims watchOS 11 will require Apple Watch Series 5 or later. In other words, watchOS 11 might require Apple Watch models manufactured in 2019 or later. That would mark the end of the road for Apple Watch Series 4, released in 2018 as the company’s first redesigned Apple Watch.

Rumor: watchOS 11 won’t support Apple Watch Series 4

PhoneSoft claims the device compatibility list for watchOS 11 looks as follows:

  • Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (2020)
  • Apple Watch Series 7 (2021)
  • Apple Watch Series 8 (2022)
  • Apple Watch Series 9 (2023)
  • Apple Watch SE (first generation, 2020)
  • Apple Watch SE (second generation, 2022)
  • Apple Watch Ultra (first generation, 2022)
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 (2023)

Even if watchOS 11 won’t support Apple Watch Series 4, the device will continue receiving bug-fix updates. However, Series 4 watches won’t get any of the new features or improvements expected in the upcoming watchOS 11 update.

Apple will preview watchOS 11 alongside iOS 18 and other software at the upcoming five-day WWDC event, running from June 9 through June 14. You can download our WWDC24-themed wallpapers for iPhone and celebrate the event in style.

AI features in watchOS 11 may require Neural Engine

Apple optimizes its various operating system software for specific chipsets, not concrete devices. The watchOS 9 update, released in 2022, killed support for Apple Watch Series 3. The device was powered by Apple’s dual-core S3 chipset, which brought 64-bit computing to the company’s wearable device for the first time.

Zac Hall, 9to5Mac:

The problem with the Apple Watch Series 3 wasn’t that Apple kept providing software updates for it years after release. That’s great! It was just that Apple kept selling it … even when watchOS 9 was released in beta and confirmed not to support it.


The good news is Apple can’t repeat that misstep here because the Series 4 hardware has long been discontinued. Apple now positions the Apple Watch SE as the entry level model, and the company is already on the second generation of that model.

watchOS 11 most likely won’t support Apple Watch Series 3 because its S3 processor doesn’t run AI tasks efficiently. But the S4 chip in Apple Watch Series 4 is the first Apple Watch processor with a Neural Engine, a coprocessor that runs AI tasks much faster than the CPU and GPU could without taxing the battery.

Given Apple’s strong AI focus with this year’s releases, it would make perfect sense to stop supporting any watches without a Neural Engine. This has already happened on iPhone as iOS 18 should support all the same iPhones as iOS 17.