Here's why your iPhone won't work with Samsung's latest Galaxy Watches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hands on event
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic during its Unpacked event this week but you probably won't be buying one — neither will work with the iPhone. And now we know why that is.

While Samsung wearables did work just fine with iPhones until recently, they haven't for the last few iterations. It was never quite clear why that was, but now a new interview with Samsung’s Director of Global Product Planning, Junho Park, appears to have cleared things up.

Basically, it's Apple's fault.

No Galaxy Watch for you

Junho Park was speaking with TechRadar when the topic of iOS support for the company's wearables came up.

According to them, Samsung just couldn't provide the experience that it wanted to because of the limitations Apple places on the iPhone and devices that it connects to.

“The goal is: how can we provide the best experience to our customers? We found that some of the heavy limitations [users experienced when using a Galaxy Watch with iOS] were not driven by the Watch [itself], by the core product," the Samsung chief said.

“So we thought, ‘Hey, there is still a lot of disconnection [between these two systems].' That was one of the reasons we dropped [iOS support on Galaxy Watches] – we could not deliver the same level of experience with Android and iOS.”

The upshot of all that? You're going to have to buy an Apple Watch Series 8 or similar if you want to get the best wearable experience with an iPhone. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise for most of course, but it's interesting that Samsung chose to ditch the iPhone rather than ship a limited product.

This news does suggest that Samsung could add iOS support to future watches if Apple changes its approach of course, but that seems unlikely to happen any time soon. And with the company getting ready to announce its best Apple Watches yet later this year, why would it?

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Bla1ze
    And this is part of why I refuse to buy a smartwatch so far, there's no level playing field across platforms yet and may never be.
  • gian posatiere
    What he actually meant to say was they can't siphon as much personal info off the iPhone as they wan't so they dropped support.