It appears as though some Apple Watch users are experiencing charging issues with their devices after installing the recent watchOS 8.3 software update.
According to MacRumors, users have begun vocalizing their experienced issues since the December 13 rollout of watchOS 8.3 on its own forum as well as Reddit and Apple Support Communities. Many of the users who are experiencing issues recall the same frustrating event. They place the Apple Watch on its charger, both Apple’s own or a third-party alternative, and the device fails to charge. Many have determined it is likely due to the software update.
A user on the Apple Support Communities page writes:
Is anyone else experiencing erratic behavior on their Series 7 Watch after the 8.3 update with a 3rd party wireless charger (Belkin)? Right after the update my watch started flashing between screens (charging screen, unlock pin pad, watch face) and eventually drained the battery to 10%. Once I put it on the charger that came with the watch it charged fine, problems went away. I don’t want my charger to become obsolete because of an update.
It appears as though issues are more common with those using third-party chargers over Apple’s own. However, the issue is widespread enough that there doesn’t appear to be solely one model or manufacturer. While the above states the issue is caused by a Belkin charger, others have used an Amazon alternative and run into similar issues.
Although not as common, some users have faced issues with Apple’s included fast charging products. A user on the MacRumors forum states:
Charging problems are more often with watchOS 8.3. It has become ridiculous, it charges around 2% in 10 minutes. What is this? The new ultra slow charging exclusively for Watch Series 7 or what.
This is everything but not the advertised fast charging.
Many of the affected users appear to be experiencing issues when using the Apple Watch Series 7. However, a small number of issues stem from the Apple Watch Series 6 as well. Though, it’s even more uncommon. It’s even said that some issues have started to arise since the rollout of watchOS 8.1 in November.
As of the time of writing, Apple has yet to make a formal statement on the matter. It’s unclear how long a software update will be released to help mitigate the situation. Until that time, it’s best to air on the side of caution, avoiding the watchOS 8.3 update, especially if you are primarily using a third-party Apple Watch charger.