Apple says it spent three years trying to bring Apple Watch to Android

As part of its response to the United States DOJ lawsuit today, Apple confirmed that it at one point considered creating an Apple Watch for Android. The company tells me that it spent three years working on bringing Apple Watch to Android before ultimately scrapping the idea.

In its lawsuit, the Department of Justice uses the Apple Watch as a piece of evidence to justify its claim that Apple is a monopoly.

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.

In response to the DOJ’s assertion, Apple confirmed for the first time that it at one point considered Android support for the Apple Watch. After a three-year investigation, Apple says that it determined an Apple Watch with Android support wasn’t doable because of technical limitations. As such, it scrapped the idea.

This aligns with previous reporting from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In a 2023 report, Gurman detailed Apple’s plans – including some of the “business considerations” – on bringing Apple Watch support to Android.

9to5Mac’s Take

It’s not Apple’s fault that there’s no Apple Watch equivalent on Android. Google bought Fitbit and still hasn’t created something that is good enough to entice Apple Watch users to switch.

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