How long should an Apple Watch last?

ReallyApple

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
5
2
I have an out of warranty watch that has become unusable because the battery expanded and popped the screen off.

Apple’s position is that it is out of warranty so they are have offered $299 to swap it. But that’s expensive to repair a known problem from Apple.

Apple did say that if you look after the watch you could get 7 year lifespan but refuse to put that in writing.

As many Apple user do upgrade as new items come on the market and have not tested the lifespan of their watches. I did invest a lot and expected a longer than warranty lifespan.

Has anyone had success dealing with Apple and “expected lifespan” and can you give me any pointers?

I need to write an official complaint to them as my next step and then see what their official response is.
 
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jaytee86

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2019
217
260
Where did u get the "7 year" lifespan reference? Can't seem to find it when i google, and the max from google results is 4 years?

I highly doubt apple has any contractual obligation to replace a 7 year watch when it's stated in their documents that it's between 1-3 years max depending on your model and ac+...
 

ReallyApple

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
5
2
Their call centre said 7 years. But also stated it depends on the user and it is a very difficult question to answer.
The watch is not 7 years old as they have only been on the market for 5 years from first release.
The series 5 is over AUD$800 which equates to $260 a year for a smart watch. A sizeable investment.
 
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PrettyWings

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2016
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Wouldn't that also mean you'd have to stop updating the phone's software in order for the watch to be able to still connect to it?
 

ReallyApple

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
5
2
Wouldn't that also mean you'd have to stop updating the phone's software in order for the watch to be able to still connect to it?
The watch is still supported so the software is not an issue. Having said that Apple don’t discuss how long they will support items when you purchase them.
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
217
174
An expanding battery and popped off screen is a manufacturing defect. I would escalate it to the next support level.
How old is the watch? Would Apple be fine with iPhone 6's expanding battery and breaking the screen? I guess not.
- - Post merged: - -

I highly doubt apple has any contractual obligation to replace a 7 year watch when it's stated in their documents that it's between 1-3 years max depending on your model and ac+...
Where, exactly, does it state this life span? That would be a ridiculous lifespan for a technical device. Basically, a throw-away watch. Who wants that in times of global warming and mountains of waste?
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
613
709
In the UK, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 should protect you for up to 6 years (allegedly) as long as the fault wasn't caused by misuse.

What does your local legislation say?

Relying on Apple (or any other manufacturer) to do the right thing is pointless. That's why consumer protection laws exist.
 

ReallyApple

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
5
2
I’m in Australia and the legislation is quite broad and they do not publish outcomes of individual complaints.

The legislation refers to expected life span. Two Apple representatives have used an analogy of a car battery not being covered by a car warranty. I’ve replied that a car battery failing does not make the car inoperable.
Also on Apple’s website it shows “
Built to last as long as humanly possible.
You count on your device day after day. So it’s designed to withstand years of use and be ready for more. It’s made of durable materials, supported by ongoing OS updates and backed by a network of more than 5,000 Apple-certified repair locations you can count on if something unexpected happens. Because the longer you use your device, the better it is for the planet.
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
613
709
I’m in Australia and the legislation is quite broad and they do not publish outcomes of individual complaints.

The legislation refers to expected life span. Two Apple representatives have used an analogy of a car battery not being covered by a car warranty. I’ve replied that a car battery failing does not make the car inoperable.
Also on Apple’s website it shows “
Built to last as long as humanly possible.
You count on your device day after day. So it’s designed to withstand years of use and be ready for more. It’s made of durable materials, supported by ongoing OS updates and backed by a network of more than 5,000 Apple-certified repair locations you can count on if something unexpected happens. Because the longer you use your device, the better it is for the planet.
I think that they have a point about the battery being considered a consumable part.
This is true of every electronic gadget sold by any manufacturer.

However, you should not expect a failing battery to damage the gadget, the same way you should not expect your car battery to explode and destroy your car.

So the question is:
- has your watch been damaged (beyond the screen popping off)?
- Does' it only need a battery replacement?

I am aware that Apple don't replace batteries, but just swap watches; however you might be able to get the battery replaced by a third party company for a fraction of the cost.
- - Post merged: - -

... or do it yourself?
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
217
174
Right, replacing a battery takes around 10 minutes. But again, a battery can exhaust, but it should not swell and damage the device. I like the car comparison - imagine a mercedes battery expanding and damaging the car - and mercedes then telling you it's a consumable and you sit there with the damage. ;-)
 

rMBP2013

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2013
124
25
Sydney
I expect an Apple Watch to last around 3 years. Perhaps even 4 if you're super careful and not use it as often (which would end up defeating the whole purpose of the AW in the first place).

Anything beyond 3 years is gravy.

How old is your watch anyways? How do you use it?
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
613
709
Right, replacing a battery takes around 10 minutes. But again, a battery can exhaust, but it should not swell and damage the device. I like the car comparison - imagine a mercedes battery expanding and damaging the car - and mercedes then telling you it's a consumable and you sit there with the damage. ;-)
Yes, but has the watch actually been damaged.
I mean, the screen needs to be popped off anyway to gain access to the battery and then re-glued.

But I know what you mean anyway, and I would be cheesed off as well.
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
217
174
Yes, that's the question. Sometimes the screen pops off and could be re-glued after replacing the battery, but sometimes the lcd breaks out and leaves a clean cut rim of glass. It looks interesting, most people don't realize it actually broke and not just popped off. I had a few of these recently for repair. In my opinion, batteries should not expand like this in such small amount of time (2-3 years).
 

jaytee86

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2019
217
260
An expanding battery and popped off screen is a manufacturing defect. I would escalate it to the next support level.
How old is the watch? Would Apple be fine with iPhone 6's expanding battery and breaking the screen? I guess not.
- - Post merged: - -



Where, exactly, does it state this life span? That would be a ridiculous lifespan for a technical device. Basically, a throw-away watch. Who wants that in times of global warming and mountains of waste?
according to OP it's the call centre?
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2019
557
217
Since the battery in my iPhone 4 still works quite well ten years later I bet the Watch is no different. I always expect long lifespans out of expensive gadgets. Our first VCR cost $650 and lasted 30 years. I got a 30 year-old TV in my garage workshop that still works. I have vehicles over 10 years-old.

Maybe I refuse to accept it, but lifespans less than that are unacceptable to me. I don't view any device as a disposable commodity no matter how many do. I can't contribute to e-waste and won't.
 
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sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
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With reasonable care an electronic device in daily use can ("can" not "absolutely will") five or more years. Usually they are warranted for one or two. Support horizons are typically legally mandated to five, meaning parts etc need to remain available.

Batteries are usually the first source of trouble... as you have seen. My Series 0 Watch is still going strong as it approaches its fifth anniversary, but the battery is growing weak. In your case, it swelled, ruining the Watch.

You don't mention in your original post what the age of your Watch is. Anything over 3 years is going to meet resistance in a situation like this. It's a complicated device that sees a lot of bumping, temperature swings, etc.

In some situations Apple will offer an extended, goodwill warranty for these situations. Your best bet is to ask. I would not recommend throwing the seven-year comment in their face. It won't help you and it might get whoever said it in trouble. It was by no means a statement of policy or warranty, and frankly it's pretty optimistic when it comes to any device with a more or less permanently installed battery.

All that matters is that you are a disappointed customer, an early adopter, whose expensive product was ruined by a supplier's part failure, and can Apple see its way to replacing it with a refurbished model?
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2019
557
217
Not leaving your watch on its charging dock overnight helps extend battery too. I would bet many cases of swelling are caused by extended times on the charging dock.

My Nexus 6 started expanding after being left on a wireless charger for a month (was functioning as a hotspot) and my Galaxy S5's battery started expanding after being left for extended periods on the charger too. Thankfully in the latter case the battery was easily replaced.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,672
32,320
I expect an Apple Watch to last around 3 years. Perhaps even 4 if you're super careful and not use it as often (which would end up defeating the whole purpose of the AW in the first place).

Anything beyond 3 years is gravy.

How old is your watch anyways? How do you use it?
There’s first Gen Watches still fully functional (Aside from lack of WatchOS support) Still active. If someone maintains the battery health by charging regularly and keeps the software current, they easily can exceed four years or longer, simply because they are fairly well made for a tech device.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2019
557
217
My first Galaxy Gear from 2013 still works (all basic functions are working) and it's older than the first Apple Watch. Y'all got nothing to worry about :)
 
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rMBP2013

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2013
124
25
Sydney
There’s first Gen Watches still fully functional (Aside from lack of WatchOS support) Still active. If someone maintains the battery health by charging regularly and keeps the software current, they easily can exceed four years or longer, simply because they are fairly well made for a tech device.
This is super comforting to hear. As it is, my battery life barely lasts the entire day. After 3 years, I'll have to charge it twice a day. LOL.
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
217
174
according to OP it's the call centre?
So , monkeys on a phone line, basically? Jokes aside but I‘d be careful with things that people on the support lines say. These are often not very well trained and will tell you everything and anything to get you out of the line, quickly. They even don’t understand general consumer laws when it comes to warranty. I only deal with Apple staff at the shop because they are better trained. If you live too far away and the staff at the support line tells bull, demand to escalate the matter to the next level until you can speak to somebody that actually knows that they’re talking about.
 

tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
308
141
Australia
You're in Australia, so push Consumer Law against Apple. You may have to contact ACCC or whatever, I forget.

Expected lifetime? At the very least whatever model watch is still getting updates.

Also 100% it should not render it inoperable.
 

ReallyApple

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
5
2
You're in Australia, so push Consumer Law against Apple. You may have to contact ACCC or whatever, I forget.

Expected lifetime? At the very least whatever model watch is still getting updates.

Also 100% it should not render it inoperable.
Hi. They have just come back to me that their consultant called the store where it was inspected and although the notes provided to me at the time said mild scuffing on the case. They now say the screen is cracked!

they don’t know why the Store consultant didn’t note that in the report given to me.

my next step is to write a letter to their legal department. Then VCAT if no success there.

it’s a long tedious process that apple hope you won’t go through.
 

akash.nu

macrumors 604
May 26, 2016
7,909
8,899
The car analogy is actually really bad when it comes to comparing with consumer tech products. Lithium ion Battery gets measured in charge cycles and wears out as the number of charge cycles increase. This also means the smaller the battery is the faster it wears out due to increased charge cycles. So one can’t really compare an iPhone with a watch or a car with a phone or whatever it is keeping the time as a constant. You need to compare the relative time for the same battery capacity.

I don’t understand why people still expect the everyday consumer devices to last for generations?! At most 2-3 years is what the planned life span is for all these devices. Apple goes above and beyond the industry standards to support their hardware with updated software but that doesn’t automatically make them liable for dealing with hardware failures.

Battery is the most consumable thing in all of these electronic devices we use nowadays and the best option is to keep your expectations in check and get the battery replaced within reasonable time.

By the way an old tv or a vcr lasting for 30 years don’t mean a smart gadget should last the same length of time as well. For a start the compares devices aren’t battery operated and not portable. Space and technology is not at a premium there.

It’s really important that we compare apples to apples.
 

PugMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2019
217
174
Sorry, but a battery wearing out is not the same as a battery expanding, destroying a part of the device and making it unusable. What kind of logic is that? Why can't you expect a battery getting replaced and then using the device for longer? Where does it state that you can not expect more than 3 years life of a device like the Apple Watch?