Samsung scraps iPhone support with new Galaxy Watch 4 series

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 drops iPhone support
Android 6.0 or later is required.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 4 series, introduced alongside its next-generation foldable smartphones on Wednesday, scraps support for iPhone.

The South Korean company’s wearables have been playing nicely with Apple devices since 2017. But with the Galaxy Watch 4, an Android device that supports Google Mobile Services (GMS) is required.

Samsung added iPhone support at a time when smartwatches other than Apple Watch were struggling to gain any real traction. Google also made the same moving, making its Wear OS operating system compatible with iOS.

It seems, however, that Samsung no longer sees a need to attract iPhone users to its wearables. Starting with the new Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, Apple fans are left out in the cold.

Galaxy Watch 4 drops iPhone support

“The new Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will not be able to pair with iOS devices,” reports Ars Technica, after confirming compatibility with Samsung. Samsung’s website also states an Android device is required.

“Device activation is only available after connecting to a smartphone that supports Google Mobile Services (GMS),” it reads. More specifically, it requires Android 6.0 or higher and a device with at least 1.5GB of RAM.

Samsung has no plans to drop iPhone support on earlier Galaxy Watch models, which is good for those who already use one with iPhone. But it seems highly unlikely iPhone compatibility will ever return for newer devices.

Samsung gives up on Tizen

The big difference this time around is that Samsung’s new wearables are powered by Google’s Wear OS operating system. Earlier models used Samsung’s own Tizen platform, which looks to be on its last legs now.

While it’s disappointing that iPhone owners have fewer wearable options now, we do have Apple Watch, which is still considered the best smartwatch money can buy. It is the device all other wearables aim to compete with.