Apple quietly confirms it will end support for three older Apple Watches with watchOS 11

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Apple has confirmed that it will end support for three older Apple Watches – the Series 5, Series 4 and the original SE – after announcing watchOS 11 during its WWDC 2024 keynote (you can catch up on everything Apple announced at our WWDC 2024 live blog).

During Apple’s reveal of watchOS 11 we learned that it ‘s packing quite a few new features, such as an improved widget stack with live activities, AI assistance used for selecting new photos for your watch face, and all-new wellness tools including the Vitals app and Training Load feature. 

However, users who haven’t upgraded to the best Apple Watches and are still using older models were likely watching with baited breath to see if their watch would make the cut and remain supported for another year. 

It was expected that the Apple Watch Series 4 would go, but unfortunately, Apple has chosen to cut support for multiple generations at once. Users of the Apple Watch Series 5 and original Apple Watch SE, which debuted together in 2019, will not be able to download the new watchOS 11 when it officially launches in September this year. 

This is according to an official post from the Apple Newsroom, which states that “watchOS 11 will be available on Apple Watch Series 6 or later paired with iPhone Xs or later”. Users with an Apple Watch Series 6, 7, 8, 9, Apple Watch SE 2 or either Apple Watch Ultra model will remain unaffected.  

If you have one of the older watches, first of all: don’t panic! You can continue using your watch as-is, and it will work just fine with your iPhone. However, it won’t receive any further updates, including security ones, and it may become buggy or slow down without these updates over a period of time. 

Alternatively, you could choose to upgrade. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, your best bet is an updated Apple Watch SE 2, which will continue to be supported for many years yet. Getting an older Series 6 at a discounted price may put you in the same position next year, so it’s better to buy newer and get the most bang for your buck. 

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