Own an older Apple Watch? It might not be compatible with watchOS 11

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Series 9 and Watch SE together
(Image credit: Future / Britta O'Boyle)

WWDC 2024 gets started very shortly but a new leak suggests watchOS 11 won't be compatible with every Apple Watch model. So if you're the owner of one of these three Apple Watches, it may be time to think about upgrading to something like the Apple Watch Series 9.

The rumor which comes from MacRumors via a private X account states that watchOS 11 will not run on Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, or the original Apple Watch SE. This means that if you own one of those models it may be time to upgrade to a newer model like the best Apple Watch on offer, the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Earlier today a similar leak revealed the compatibility for iPadOS 18 which looks set to remove support for three iPad models.

Series 6 and beyond

If the rumor is accurate then watchOS 11 would be available for the Apple Watch Series 6 and newer but drop support for one of the most beloved Watches, the original SE which was first released in 2020. With huge improvements expected across the board for all Apple software thanks to the introduction of Apple Intelligence, you don't want to miss out on watchOS 11.

With WWDC 2024 about to kick off, you won't have long to find out if your Apple Watch can run watchOS 11 but if you want to pick up a new model, here's one we suggest:

Apple Watch Series 9 | $329 at Amazon

Apple Watch Series 9 | $329 at Amazon

Need an Apple Watch that's compatible with watchOS 11? The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best Apple Watch for most people and you can pick one up starting from $329 at Amazon.

We're covering the WWDC 2024 event as it happens. Follow WWDC 2024 LIVE here. Or check out our roundups for all the latest on the newly announced iOS 18iPadOS 18macOS 15watchOS 11visionOS 2, and Apple Intelligence.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.