Apple’s first redesigned Apple Watch rumored to miss watchOS 11 – 9to5Mac

It feels like just yesterday when Apple continued to sell 2017’s Apple Watch Series 3 despite it not receiving an already announced watchOS update. Fortunately, Apple hasn’t repeated that mistake again. Instead, we’re merely looking at the successor to that Apple Watch potentially missing support for the next major watchOS release.

watchOS 11 may drop Apple Watch Series 4

That’s according to iPhonesoft.fr, which expects watchOS 11 to run on Apple Watch Series 5 and later. That would mean 2018’s Apple Watch Series 4 would top out at watchOS 10.

Not bad considering Apple Watch Series 3 topped out at watchOS 8.8.1. And to reiterate, 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.

Without an always-on display, the Apple Watch SE is a bit like the Apple Watch Series 4. They share the same design, too, but Apple Watch SE 2 has a different processor.

But wait, what about Series 5?

That brings up an interesting point. Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 basically have the same processor. Would Apple really drop an Apple Watch model from software updates while supporting a year newer model with virtually the same chip?

Common sense says no, but Apple sense says absolutely! For one, Apple doesn’t see the S4 and S5 chips as the same, despite sharing the same CPU and GPU. Also, it’s Apple we’re talking about, not the grand arbiter of fairness.

That’s not to say that we’ve heard or seen anything to back up the rumor. We’ll say something if we see something. In the meantime, it seems reasonable that the 2018 Apple Watch may not get the 2024 watchOS update. So what if the 2019 Apple Watch has the same processor and runs watchOS 11?

If you’ve made it this far, time for a random trivia fact. Apple Watch 1, 2, and 3 topped out at versions of watchOS 4, 6, and 8, respectively. If that pattern continued, Apple Watch 4 would top out at watchOS 10 … as rumored. We’ll know on June 10 at WWDC 2024!

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