Bad news, your Apple Watch 4 could be left behind by watchOS 11

The Apple Watch Series 4 on a pink background
(Image credit: Apple)

We'll almost certainly get our first look at the Apple Watch's next software update, watchOS 11, at WWDC 2024 on June 10. But new rumors suggest one classic watch won't be invited to the party – the Apple Watch 4.

According to iPhonesoft (via @MacRumors), which has a decent record for accurate Apple software leaks, watchOS 11 will drop support for the Apple Watch 4, which launched back in 2018. If so, the watch will miss out on new rumored features like improved sleep tracking.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has previously claimedthat watchOS 11 will be a "fairly minor" update, so this may not be a huge loss for Watch 4 owners. And it's had a pretty good run, matching the Apple Watch 3's five years of software support before that one was left in the cold by watchOS 9.

What could make the move slightly more annoying and controversial, though, is that the Apple Watch 4 has a virtually identical processor to the Apple Watch 5 (which is expected to get watchOS 11 support). Both the S4 and S5 processors are 64-bit dual-core chips that were advertised as being twice as fast as the S3 chip, leading some to speculate that the S5 was simply a rebranded S4.

But despite the Apple Watch 4 potentially being technically capable of running watchOS 11, dropping it from software support wouldn't be a surprise considering it'll be six years old by the time we get our first glimpse of the Apple Watch 10 in September (according to rumors, at least).

The Watch 4 was one of the more significant updates in Apple Watch history, bringing a fresh design – with a thinner chassis and a much bigger screen – plus an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature. And it'll continue to work fine if the rumors are true, just without Apple's sprinkling of new features.

Which Apple Watch models will get support?

Apple Watch Series 9 sleep tracking

(Image credit: Future / Britta O'Boyle)

So, which Apple Watch models will get watchOS 11 support if the rumors are true? The full list is below, with Apple Watches from the Series 5 all likely to get the update, alongside all Apple Watch SE and Watch Ultra models.

While watchOS 11 has been tipped to be a minor update, there are a few things we're hoping to see. For example, it could be good to see the Rings system get a shakeup with a new Recovery or Rest ring, to tell you when you've got the right amount of downtime.

It'd also be great to see improved sleep tracking features, which could feed into something similar to Garmin's Body Battery or Fitbit's Daily Readiness Score –particularly as this could be a big part of the incoming Samsung Galaxy Ring.

With an Apple Watch 10 also likely en route for September, it's a big year for Apple's wearable – particularly since it was forced to remove the blood oxygen feature from the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 following a patent dispute with medical tech firm Massimo.

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Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.