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Question: Watch series 3 + iPhone 6 iOS 12.4.3 = not working

I have an iPhone 6 with iOS 12.4.3, and just won an apple watch series 3. It is impossible to pair both devices.

First I was asked to update the iOS to the latest version, but my iPhone informs that I am up to date. No new version available.

Somehow I was able to perform a factory reset to the Apple Watch (although never previously used). Things went slightly different. It didn’t show the message to update the iOS, and I thought I would be able to finish. Unfortunately, a few seconds later, a message appears informing that the devices are being unpaired. If I go very fast, I only reach the wearing hand definition, and then unpair.

Any thoughts on how to get this solved?

Apple Watch

Posted on Nov 27, 2019 7:07 PM

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Nov 28, 2019 6:35 AM in response to Andrehq In response to Andrehq

We have just left the Apple store in Liverpool. We bought a Series 3 Apple Watch to go with my girlfriend’s iPhone 6+. Despite Apple advertising that the 6 and 6+ are compatible with the Series 3 watch, they are not! We’ve just had to get refund five minutes after purchasing.


All new Series 3 Apple Watches must now be paired with an iPhone 6S or higher.


We’re starting to get tired of Apple...



Nov 28, 2019 6:35 AM

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 28, 2019 2:02 PM in response to Elitegate In response to Elitegate

Unfortunately, Apple have and do advertise the Series 3 watch to work on an iPhone 6 when new. The staff in the shop informed us that the Series 5 wasn't compatible but the Series 3 definitely was.


As for the phone being 5 years old, it works perfectly and why should we be forced to upgrade a phone unnecessarily just to please Apple? Environmentally responsible? Hardly... Why is it that an iPhone 6 was fine before September but not today?


As for iOS 13. Big deal, we can't upgrade to iOS13, iOS12 on the iPhone 6 works just fine.





Nov 28, 2019 2:02 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 28, 2019 6:35 AM in response to Andrehq In response to Andrehq

We have just left the Apple store in Liverpool. We bought a Series 3 Apple Watch to go with my girlfriend’s iPhone 6+. Despite Apple advertising that the 6 and 6+ are compatible with the Series 3 watch, they are not! We’ve just had to get refund five minutes after purchasing.


All new Series 3 Apple Watches must now be paired with an iPhone 6S or higher.


We’re starting to get tired of Apple...



Nov 28, 2019 6:35 AM

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Nov 28, 2019 8:19 AM in response to Chris_d52 In response to Chris_d52

Apple never advertised or stated the compatibility between the iPhone 6 and the Series 3 and 5 if bought new.


You have an iPhone 6, which is over 5 years old, and that phone doesn't have enough RAM to support iOS 13.


Now, the latest version of watchOS is watchOS 6, which requires iOS 13, and iOS 13 only works on the iPhone 6s / SE and higher.


That applies to the latest Series 5, but also to older Apple Watches once updated to watchOS 6.


If you buy a new Apple Watch Series 3 from Apple after September 2019, you can count on it that it already runs watchOS 6.


See: https://www.apple.com/watch/


Scroll down to the bottom of the page, it's noted right there: "Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 3 require an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or later."


Maybe you need to inform yourself first - or better yet - upgrade your 5 year old iPhone before you buy a new accessory for it.

Nov 28, 2019 8:19 AM

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Nov 28, 2019 2:02 PM in response to Elitegate In response to Elitegate

Unfortunately, Apple have and do advertise the Series 3 watch to work on an iPhone 6 when new. The staff in the shop informed us that the Series 5 wasn't compatible but the Series 3 definitely was.


As for the phone being 5 years old, it works perfectly and why should we be forced to upgrade a phone unnecessarily just to please Apple? Environmentally responsible? Hardly... Why is it that an iPhone 6 was fine before September but not today?


As for iOS 13. Big deal, we can't upgrade to iOS13, iOS12 on the iPhone 6 works just fine.





Nov 28, 2019 2:02 PM

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Nov 28, 2019 2:17 PM in response to Chris_d52 In response to Chris_d52

I'm guessing that it is a misunderstanding, but the Apple Watch 3, or 5, once updated to the latest watchOS will no longer work with the iPhone 6. From the Apple Watch page, Series 3. Apple Watch Series 3 - Apple


See this footnote. Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 3 require an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or later.

Nov 28, 2019 2:17 PM

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Nov 29, 2019 8:16 AM in response to Chris_d52 In response to Chris_d52

You shouldn't buy a new iPhone to please Apple (this is an users forum), as a matter of fact it is perfectly reasonable to upgrade your iPhone every 5 years... i mean your iPhone doesn't support iOS 13 anymore... and there are cheaper models too, not every iPhone is 1000$.


The Series 3 Apple Watch is compatible with the iPhone 6 - unless it runs watchOS 6. watchOS 6 requires an iPhone 6s / SE or newer, not the Watch itself.


iPhone 6 + Series 3 on watchOS 5 = Compatible

iPhone 6 + Series 3 on watchOS 6 = Not compatible


The iPhone 6 is no longer fine because it cannot support the latest version of iOS, which is 13. It's stuck on iOS 12.4.3 and may only see future iOS 12 Security Updates. You need to expect that other Apple products like the Apple Watch or EarPods will not work anymore with the iPhone 6.


But since you got your refund, it shouldn't be a problem for you.

Nov 29, 2019 8:16 AM

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Dec 25, 2019 2:21 PM in response to Andrehq In response to Andrehq

My wife was not a fan of watch however I lent my Watch 3 to her to see how she got on with it. After 3 weeks she loved it, so much so I bought her a Watch 5 for Christmas so as I could have mine back. She is very happy and it works fine with her iPhone 5SE. I was pleased to have my watch 3 back, Problem is now it has been upgraded to watch 6 I can no longer us it with my IPhone 6. I’m really disappointed in no longer being able to to use my watch. I’m an advocate of Apple and watch but I don’t think this upgrade has been thought through very well as I can no longer revert the OS to watch 5. Hence watch is useless to me unless on IPhone 6 unless I go and buy another new IPhone. I buy Apple products because of their durability, sustainability and longevity. For me this is a major metric. Sadly on this occasion I’m left feeling somewhat disappointed. Apple, if you’re listening can you please fix this issue ?

Dec 25, 2019 2:21 PM

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Dec 26, 2019 3:34 AM in response to Obernar In response to Obernar

Apple f&@$ed my 15 yo daughters Christmas. We have saved to buy her an Apple Watch for Christmas and bought her a series 3. Did research before thanksgiving that is was compatible with her iPhone 6 and everything said yes it was. Low and behold the prized watch is opened and squeals of glee turned to tears of sadness when it DID NOT WORK WITH IPHONE 6. So we had to scrape together money more money to throw at Apple and buy a 7 from gazelle. Profoundly disappointed in Apple in what seemed, IMO, a total consumer f@$k.

Dec 26, 2019 3:34 AM

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Dec 26, 2019 3:50 AM in response to Nctopteach In response to Nctopteach

As I’m the one of those who started this thread, I feel obliged to comment again. It seems my original comments were more than justified. For anyone who thinks we should be forced to upgrade our products, regardless of their working condition should think again. Not everyone is made of money or feels the need to upgrade their products at every opportunity. APPLE PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!

Dec 26, 2019 3:50 AM

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Jan 7, 2020 5:35 AM in response to madeeha70 In response to madeeha70

If you're expecting apple to allow a full factory reset to below watch os6, you'll have more chance of winning the Lottery. Once updated, there's no going back. I'm still really annoyed about this stance. I'm still getting it in the neck from my good lady. She was so looking forward to getting her watch and she can't have one.

Jan 7, 2020 5:35 AM

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Jan 15, 2020 5:58 PM in response to Chris_d52 In response to Chris_d52

I too just realized all of this BS as I purchased a Series 3 for my daughter as she is starting to leave the nest with out us. I was told by a number of apple personal at the apple store and by multiple AT&T reps that as long as I had an iPhone 6 - it WILL WORK. So do they not know the new watches were shipped with the most up to date WatchOS that puts them incompatible with the Series 3? Look - we all have spare phones as we upgrade and those are the perfect phone to pair the watch with for your children. Can't have them paired to mine or my wife's for obvious reason...not to mention your apple ID. To the "Elitegate" - your handle says it all... don't judge others and their thinking without you knowing anything about them, their thoughts, and the processes for this purchase. I have found, on apple's website, that they still shows the iPhone 6 is compatible with the series 3 watch as it is dated 2018 so don't say Apple has not stated it as they have by their inability to remove aged content on their website.


I just spent 4 hours on AT&T to get this figured out as AT&T assured me that my iPhone 6 can be paired - I have spoken to two high level engineers and they do not believe what I have found on the apple website (updated content) that states it can't be paired unless I have an iPhone 6s or higher. I was just disconnected as the engineer has to save face as they must have just realized I am correct. Wow - 4 hours down the tube.


Lets start with the BS of why does it have to be paired in the first place? If I want to struggle to set it up without a phone - that should be on me. Just need this device to send and receive texts and to phone out - thats it! That is why I paid an extra $100 to have cell service on it. I should not need a phone! But now I need a $1000 plus device to make this happen along with the $300 watch - Apple please....


I have been a loyal Apple supporter since the 80's and have owned over 40 Apple devices and this, the lack of communication regarding this update and what it will do, well before WatchOS 6 came out to its partners, resellers, and customers in not just....its just wrong!

Jan 15, 2020 5:58 PM

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Jan 17, 2020 2:02 PM in response to Andrehq In response to Andrehq

I too got an Apple Watch series 3 for Christmas after explicitly seeing online that it is compatible with the iPhone 6. Thank you Apple for the continuous lies and money making scam. I will keep the watch in its box until my iPhone 6 dies...which likely won't be for a while...since my phone works perfectly fine. I am not playing your game.

Jan 17, 2020 2:02 PM

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Jan 17, 2020 2:30 PM in response to KyleFill In response to KyleFill

So you judge me by my username which was set years ago and trust me, it has nothing to do with my personality, thank you. I'm not a selfish person at all, otherwise i wouldn't even spend my time on this forum as i like to help people just because i know a lot about Apple Products since i happen to know them quite well now. It's all voluntary too. I recieve no money from this.


But anyways - you do can inform yourself aswell, it clearly says on the Apple Website under the Watch section at the bottom of the page (https://www.apple.com/watch) Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 3 require an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or later. It has been updated since 2018, it seems. An iPhone 6 is over 5 years old now and it just doesn't have enough RAM for iOS 13 - i didn't choose that, Apple did. This is an users forum. I also didn't decide that the latest watchOS 6 requires iOS 13 and it doesn't work with iOS 12. I just don't understand why the people at the Apple Store didn't knew this. I understand your frustration, but i'm the wrong person honestly.


And again, you do not need a 1000$ device. The iPhone 8 sells for 449$ and you can find cheaper, refurbished and/or older models of iPhones (like the 6s or 7) online even cheaper.

Jan 17, 2020 2:30 PM

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Question: Watch series 3 + iPhone 6 iOS 12.4.3 = not working