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Why Apple's Plan to Pair the Apple Watch with Androids Failed

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Person using an Apple smartwatch
Featured | Pixabay

Tech giant Apple reportedly considered ensuring that its highly popular Apple Watch would work with Android smartphones.

This disclosure emerged as part of the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which specifically brought up Apple's Apple Watch and its restriction to iPhone users.

As per the lawsuit, Apple's decision to limit the Apple Watch to only work with iPhones is aimed at discouraging users from switching to Android phones.

Switching to an Android device would make their investment in the Apple Watch useless, forcing them to buy a new smartwatch that is compatible with Android.

"...if Apple can steer a user towards buying an Apple Watch, it becomes more costly for that user to purchase a different kind of smartphone because doing so requires the user to abandon their costly Apple Watch and purchase a new, Android-compatible smartwatch," a part of the lawsuit read.

Apple has recognized the potential consequences of making the Apple Watch compatible with Android, noting that it would eliminate a key feature that sets the iPhone apart.

This aspect has become a focal point of the current legal investigation. The disclosure has piqued the interest of consumers and industry experts, fueling discussions about Apple's tactics and choices.

Apple's Three-Year Exploration into Android Compatibility

Recent reports from reputable sources have revealed that Apple has been extensively exploring the possibility of integrating Android compatibility into its Apple Watch ecosystem.

According to insights provided by 9to5Mac, Apple has been checking out this venture for a significant period of three years.

The tech giant thoroughly explored the possibilities of integrating Apple smartwatches and the health app into the Android ecosystem under a project known as "Project Fennel."

However, this venture may never come to light as Apple ultimately concluded that compatibility with Android devices could have been more feasible due to inherent technical limitations.

A report published by Bloomberg in November 2023 provided further insights into Apple's considerations regarding integrating Android support for the Apple Watch.

The report emphasized a firm point of view, indicating that Apple may be hesitant to seek Android compatibility due to worries about weakening the Apple Watch's appeal to iPhone users.

In the words of a Bloomberg source, an eventual compatibility with the Android ecosystem would "dilute the value of the watch to the iPhone."

Additionally, integrating Android compatibility posed a delicate balance between catering to a broader audience and preserving the exclusivity that defines Apple's ecosystem. 

Looking Ahead: Future Prospects and Industry Trends

Given Apple's unsuccessful attempt to connect the Apple Watch with Android, the tech industry constantly changes, bringing new opportunities and challenges.

As users demand more flexibility and freedom in their device options, tech companies are under increasing pressure to adapt and innovate.

While Apple's decision to prioritize ecosystem cohesion has merits, it also highlights consumers' growing demand for cross-platform compatibility. Competitors are exploring alternative approaches to address this need. 


The revelation that Apple is considering Android compatibility for the Apple Watch has stirred considerable interest and speculation within the tech industry.

While the idea held promise for broadening Apple's reach and appealing to a more diverse audience, the technical and strategic challenges proved abortive.