Manufacturing defect, apple denies

rob.james.arias

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 20, 2015
247
296
I have a several-month-old apple watch. Recently I noticed what appeared, and I thought to be air under the screen on the watch. Then I became convinced it was possibly cracking, though there is no damage to the watch whatsoever. It appears to me that the watch screen is separating from the inside out or the sapphire crystal has started to shatter from the inside out.

I took it to the apple store and the genius bar looked at it and said they couldn't see anything. See pictures below. I explained that with the screen off, and in outdoor light, or under a flashlight it was obvious. I showed the tech both ways. They agreed that it did not look correct and sent it off.

Apple sent it back today without fixing and a note that it is a cosmetic issue which is not covered by warranty? WTH??? I'm lost now, I shared these pictures with a senior advisor who told me the same, it is cosmetic. Any suggestions? It is quite the distraction every time I look at it now I know its there... Seems like a manufacturing defect to me.
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deadworlds

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
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746
Citrus Heights,CA
In sorry that apple wasn't able to help you and get you an exchanged unit. I dont mean to be rude when I say this, but im personally having a hard time seeing the scratches. The parts you circled look like glares from the glass. Again im not saying I dont believe, just that the images dont convey the details very well.
 
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rob.james.arias

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 20, 2015
247
296
In sorry that apple wasn't able to help you and get you an exchanged unit. I dont mean to be rude when I say this, but im personally having a hard time seeing the scratches. The parts you circled look like glares from the glass. Again im not saying I dont believe, just that the images dont convey the details very well.

I agree its difficult to tell from the pictures. It is not a glare, as much as it looks like it. That is light bleeding through what appears to be cracks or gaps under the screen. I guess I should have used my Nikon instead of my 8+ to capture it more accurately.
 

deadworlds

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,020
746
Citrus Heights,CA
I agree its difficult to tell from the pictures. It is not a glare, as much as it looks like it. That is light bleeding through what appears to be cracks or gaps under the screen. I guess I should have used my Nikon instead of my 8+ to capture it more accurately.
Did you by any chance buy AC+ with your watch? Its not ideal, but you could crack the screen and then get a replacement /repair using your AC+. Just an idea.
 
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deadworlds

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,020
746
Citrus Heights,CA
I did not, live and learn.

i personally think that you should not have to buy AC+ for this issue, but its a work around. Also taking a second look at the first photo, the part with the long skinny circle, it almost looks like theres glue under the glass, and thats separating causing the strange "scratches"? What do you think?
 
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bluechair1984

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2010
130
48
I agree its difficult to tell from the pictures. It is not a glare, as much as it looks like it. That is light bleeding through what appears to be cracks or gaps under the screen. I guess I should have used my Nikon instead of my 8+ to capture it more accurately.
Light bleeding from where? The screen is OLED and has no backlight.
 

Prozak0820

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2015
294
148
Tampa, Florida
I know exactly what this is as it has happened to me on my Space Black series 2 when I bought it. Yes it is a manufacturing defect. I took it to the Apple store they had 2 guys check it out and they both agreed that the display is coming apart. I think I have a post on here with the photos. But Apple said they could’ve replaced it but since I was in the return time frame I just returned it for a new one.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,317
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From a crack in the underside of the screen. Light that passes through the top from the outside and refracts in the crack.
My only opinion is to take the Apple Watch back to a store and have them re-evaluate the issues you were indicating. If they look at it more closely, perhaps they can determine in-store if it's a manufacturing defect or not. Looking at your pictures, it's difficult to say exactly. But perhaps they can reevaluate the Watch and a second try might be beneficial.
 
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ReeseATPH

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2017
43
21
Apple will ALWAYS deny a defect, especially if they think the word will get out. I’ve simply found that by going to one or more of the stores and simply saying “I don’t like it” and waiting for a response, they eventually will just replace it. Just keep repeating the phrases “I don’t like it, it shouldn’t be manufactured like this, it’s defective, this costs too much money to have a messed up display”. Make sure to have a Manager or two involved and try different stores if you don’t get the desired result.

The only caveat is, it obviously really has to be a factory defect and not something you caused. Having the truth on your side is esssential.
 

drew0020

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2006
1,717
264
That is clearly a defect. A deep scratch on the stainless is a cosmetic issue. Screen peeling away underneath the glass is a manufacturing defect.

On another note, I feel like Apple is forcing people to pay for AppleCare+ in order to get proper advance service. In almost every case for an advanced replacement you need AppleCare +. I had an issue with my Hermes S2 Apple Watch on Day 3 of ownership. The only way Apple would send an advanced replacement was to add AppleCare+. I could have sent it in and waited 7-10 business days for the replacement, but that isn't acceptable when you have an activity tracker and goals that you are trying to maintain. Also, I feel like its rare that Apple stores have any Apple Watch replacements physically in store.

Anyway hope you get a replacement!
 

ReeseATPH

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2017
43
21
On that note... you could purchase your replacement online and have it held at the store you’re going to visit. Just to insure there’s one in stock when you are requesting the replacement. They can always cancel the order and not charge your CC.... boom you’re covered.
 

rob.james.arias

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 20, 2015
247
296
I just looked and it is haha. My Apple store told me it was the display splitting. You may want to keep talking to Apple about it. Until you get it replaced.
Called again and sent a video of the issue to a senior Apple advisor. He remarked that it should have been replaced on the spot but since it wasn’t and since watches are not eligible for express replacement I can go back to the store and send it in again... he explained that he can’t make the repair depot do anything or a store manager for that matter. I guess I will just try my luck again. This time and every subsequent time I plan on buying a sport watch to hold me over and returning it when my watch gets sent back.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Called again and sent a video of the issue to a senior Apple advisor. He remarked that it should have been replaced on the spot but since it wasn’t and since watches are not eligible for express replacement I can go back to the store and send it in again... he explained that he can’t make the repair depot do anything or a store manager for that matter. I guess I will just try my luck again. This time and every subsequent time I plan on buying a sport watch to hold me over and returning it when my watch gets sent back.
Sometimes it's all about who you talk to, and in your case, it sounds like you finally found the right person that's willing to acknowledge the issues. Let us know how it all goes.
 

JoshVB

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2002
143
22
So late last night I was reading this thread and saw the pictures of the affected Apple Watch with screen/sapphire separation issues. I thought to myself that that would be really crappy to have happen.

Early this afternoon I was out shopping and glanced down at my one week old Series 3 42mm Apple Watch SS and saw the exact same “separation” along the bottom right edge of my Apple Watch’s screen. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The watch had been babied and I was scratching my head wondering how it happened. Had the “seperation” been there since day one or was I seeing it for the first time due to the bright lights of the retail store.

After finishing my shopping I went home, collected the box the watch came in and headed to the local Apple Store. As it was under 14 days they replaced the watch without issues. The Apple associate who was helping me said it was quite visible and commented that he had not personally seen anything like that. I looked over the new watch I exchanged the old one for really carefully and saw no issues with the screen on it. Not that it matters but it was newer stock as it already had 4.0.1 loaded onto it, and I didn’t need to upgrade it like the one I received a week earlier.

Josh
 

lucydrew

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2017
12
35
So late last night I was reading this thread and saw the pictures of the affected Apple Watch with screen/sapphire separation issues. I thought to myself that that would be really crappy to have happen.

Early this afternoon I was out shopping and glanced down at my one week old Series 3 42mm Apple Watch SS and saw the exact same “separation” along the bottom right edge of my Apple Watch’s screen. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The watch had been babied and I was scratching my head wondering how it happened. Had the “seperation” been there since day one or was I seeing it for the first time due to the bright lights of the retail store.

After finishing my shopping I went home, collected the box the watch came in and headed to the local Apple Store. As it was under 14 days they replaced the watch without issues. The Apple associate who was helping me said it was quite visible and commented that he had not personally seen anything like that. I looked over the new watch I exchanged the old one for really carefully and saw no issues with the screen on it. Not that it matters but it was newer stock as it already had 4.0.1 loaded onto it, and I didn’t need to upgrade it like the one I received a week earlier.

Josh
Hmmm.. this thread is making me rethink my decision to buy the SS instead of the Nike sport. (This is my first AW.) Is this problem only with the SS version? Also, is it only occurring on the 42mm? I don’t have that issue on my 38mm so far, but I’m still within the 14 day return period and could exchange it for the Nike if that’s a “safer” option. Thoughts? (I do have Apple Care.)
 

JoshVB

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2002
143
22
Hmmm.. this thread is making me rethink my decision to buy the SS instead of the Nike sport. (This is my first AW.) Is this problem only with the SS version? Also, is it only occurring on the 42mm? I don’t have that issue on my 38mm so far, but I’m still within the 14 day return period and could exchange it for the Nike if that’s a “safer” option. Thoughts? (I do have Apple Care.)
I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I don’t think it’s a wide spread issue. I was just completely surprised to have just read this thread last night, and then to have discovered the issue with my watch this afternoon. My Series 0 SS 42mm was worn since release back in 2015 and has been completely fine. Separation between the display and sapphire isn’t normal and should be considered a defect if it occurs. I think the original poster had a bad repair experience when he initially sent it back.

Josh
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,317
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Hmmm.. this thread is making me rethink my decision to buy the SS instead of the Nike sport. (This is my first AW.) Is this problem only with the SS version? Also, is it only occurring on the 42mm? I don’t have that issue on my 38mm so far, but I’m still within the 14 day return period and could exchange it for the Nike if that’s a “safer” option. Thoughts? (I do have Apple Care.)
Also, this is just one thread based on the millions of Apple Watches that exist that likely don't have this issue. I'm not saying it's not possible, but it's also not likely in many instances. And also, this is one of the first threads I have read of this defect occurring.