AppleCare/Genius Bar Repair procedure for Apple Watch


macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 20, 2010
Los Angeles, CA
If you go to either a Genius Bar or AppleCare with a supported-model of broken iPad, iPod, AppleTV, or AirPort base station, they don't fix it; they just replace the unit with another new or like-new unit.

If you go to either a Genius Bar or AppleCare with a supported model of broken Mac, they don't replace the unit, they either replace the defective parts with new or like-new parts and then return the Mac to the customer.

If you go to a Genius Bar or AppleCare with a supported model of broken iPhone, they'll replace the unit in some instances, but if they can replace defective or broken parts with new or like-new parts instead, they'll do it.

What happens if you go to a Genius Bar or AppleCare with an AppleWatch? Does it vary by "collection"? (i.e different for the Apple Watch Sport vs. the Apple Watch vs. the Apple Watch Edition?)

I'd imagine it'd be similar to the iPad/iPod/AppleTV/AirPort policy, but I can't say I know for sure. Do any of you know the policy?


macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
New Sanfrakota
Unfortunately, it's not like iDevices where they replace on the spot. You have to send it in for repair and if it's found to be unrepairable, they'll send you a white box unit. That means going without the AW for a while so it's best to do the express replacement if you have AC+.
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macrumors member
May 22, 2015
The send in repair is pretty quick even if you don't have AC+.

The screen on my wife's watch came away from the body on a Sunday evening so I jumped online and did the support chat thing. They had me unpair the watch and shipped us a return package. This arrived on Tuesday and we posted it back the same day. I got an email on Thursday morning saying they had received it, and then later the same day another email saying a replacement had been dispatched. The replacement watch body arrived on Friday morning, so less than a week all in.

I suppose it helped that the watch was obviously properly broken so they didn't need to spend long investigating, but I'd expect in most cases it easier for them to just ship out a replacement and recycle the defective ones.


macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2009
My dad cracked his sapphire screen (yes he actually did manage to do it) 2 weeks ago. He scheduled an appointment with our local Apple Store and they took it in saying it would cost about 400$ to replace the screen. 2 days later they called him back and mentioned he could come to pick it up. They gave him a brand new one instead.
He didn't have AC+.


macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
apple says they give you express replacement for your apple watch under apple care. they are supposed to send you a replacement and once you receive your replacement, you send in your old watch. failure to send back the old watch will result in a fee
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