Will the Apple Watch ever work with Samsung phones?

Apple is notorious for locking people into its ecosystem, and it does not open its software to other platforms, even if it means it will get higher sales volumes from its hardware. Recently, Apple has been under fire from the European Union and the United States government for anti-competitive behavior.

To comply with the European Union laws, Apple had to switch the entire iPhone 15 lineup to USB Type C, moving away from their proprietary lightning ports. iPhones in the EU must also let in multiple app stores and enable sideloading and third-party app installations on iOS.

Regulatory Pressure on Apple

In a similar light, the US government is imposing heavy fines for anti-competitive behavior from Apple. They claim that Apple products like the Apple Watch do not work with Android phones. As a result, people end up buying iPhones, and they don’t have a choice to even look at the competition if they actually want to use the Apple Watch.

However, it’s worth noting that Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup doesn’t work with iPhones. Pixel Watches do not work with iPhones, and the new OnePlus Watch doesn’t work with iPhones either. It’s easy to argue that the Apple Watch shouldn’t work with Android phones if smartwatches from other companies do not work with iPhones either.

The statement from the United States Department of Justice regarding Apple Watches not being compatible with Android phones:

“Apple’s smartwatch- Apple Watch- is only compatible with the iPhone. So, 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.”

apple watch and samsung phone
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Apple’s Attempt to Make it Work

According to a report from 9To5 Mac, Apple allegedly spent about three years trying to make the Apple Watch compatible with Android phones. This is Apple’s response to this claim from the US Department of Justice. Apple says they couldn’t execute this plan since there were too many technical limitations and an overall inferior experience as a result.

If Apple had actually been able to make this work, Samsung phones could have been paired with the Apple Watch. It’s an excellent pair since no smartwatch matches the overall performance and smoothness of the Apple Watch. Galaxy Watches are still behind on this metric. However, this is a double-edged sword.

Nobody would’ve bought Android Wear OS-powered smartwatches if Apple made the Apple Watch compatible with Android phones. Most people would’ve bought the Apple Watch over the Galaxy Watch, which is also disastrous for the competition. Either way, accusing Apple of making the Apple Watch incompatible with Android doesn’t make much sense.

A potential reason for this incompatibility is that many Apple Watch features are proprietary. Ecosystem features make the Apple Watch work well with the iPhone, and Apple probably doesn’t want to throw away its competitive advantage. Either that, or it’s impossible to make some of those features work on Android. Apple could be genuine here, or they’re making excuses.

This could go two ways. One Apple is forced to make the Apple Watch compatible with Android phones if the US Department of Justice or they’ll not bother and keep it the same. There’s a mild chance that Apple might make the Apple Watch compatible with Samsung phones, but we wouldn’t hold our breath for this to happen anytime soon. Lawsuits take forever to conclude.


The Apple Watch could support Samsung phones in the future if the USA DOJ forces the company to do so. Otherwise, we don’t expect it to happen.

Ankan is a tech enthusiast with a particular passion for Samsung gadgets. He has extensive hands-on experience testing out the latest Samsung smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other devices. At SamInsider, he provides reliable coverage of everything happening in the Samsung world. Email: techblizpro@gmail.com (Follow on X/Twitter)

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