Repair Period for First-Gen Apple Watches With Battery Issues Extended to 3 Years

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Apple today informed retail store employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers that it is extending the service coverage for first-generation Apple Watch models experiencing battery problems to three years.

In an entry in Apple's repair database (via 9to5Mac), the company explains that coverage is extended for original Apple Watch models that are seeing swollen or expanded batteries. A public announcement about the service extension has not been made, and it's not clear if Apple will offer reimbursements for customers who have already paid for battery replacements or have done battery replacements themselves.

Image via MacRumors forum user Rosepod5

Customers who have an original Apple Watch afflicted with a swollen or expanded battery will now be able to have the device repaired for up to three years after its purchase date, even when AppleCare was not purchased for the watch. From the repair database:
Apple has extended Service coverage for eligible Apple Watch (1st gen) models with an expanded/swollen battery to three years after the original date of purchase. Eligible devices will be covrered for two years beyond the original 1-year Limited Warranty.
Complaints about swollen batteries on the original Apple Watch have been circulating for a few months on reddit, the Apple Support Communities, and the MacRumors forum.

Reports are rare, but it does appear to be an issue affecting a small number of original Apple Watch users. The battery problem causes the Apple Watch screen to pop away from the casing, rendering it unusable.

The first-generation Apple Watch, first introduced in April of 2015, recently reached its second birthday on April 24.

Article Link: Repair Period for First-Gen Apple Watches With Battery Issues Extended to 3 Years
 
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ApplLvr

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
63
25
This happened to my watch! They (Apple) didn't tell me it was the battery. It happened while I was sitting in a meeting, not doing anything. After the support people querying me on whether I had gotten it wet, dropped it, etc., they agreed to send me a replacement and I sent the old one back. Who knew?!?
 

NervousFish2

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2014
190
277
Cheap offshore batteries? Ha! Would the US-made ones be any better? Weird, non-sequitur comment.

Well, curiously, in the last few days, my original edition has started acting weird. Every few hours, its like someone is mashing the power button. And I start getting the alert that it is about to start making emergency calls and texting my emergency contacts. Anyone ever seen reports of anything like that?
 

goddard1

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2016
4
0
This happened to mine a few weeks ago, they replaced it, didn't have AppleCare either.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Cheap offshore batteries? Ha! Would the US-made ones be any better? Weird, non-sequitur comment.

Well, curiously, in the last few days, my original edition has started acting weird. Every few hours, its like someone is mashing the power button. And I start getting the alert that it is about to start making emergency calls and texting my emergency contacts. Anyone ever seen reports of anything like that?

Sounds like the gasket is sticking or is pinched, causing the button to seize. I would have Apple look into it.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+Watch+Teardown/40655
 

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,052
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In countries with strong consumer protection I would guess Apple would have very little chance of avoiding doing this anyway (especially for such a serious and obvious defect in an item that should last much longer than 1 year), but it's obviously a good thing if they are doing it everywhere without being made to.

If it's only happening in a small number of cases it seems like a financial no-brainer to avoid bad publicity too.
 

OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,628
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Good news. Unlike the iPhone which I've upgraded every year. There hasn't been anything significant to make me want to upgrade watch yet
 
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Rorosbutt

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2013
331
91
Maybe a dumb question but the 1st gen is the S0 right? I'd love to get a fresh battery put in for no charge.
 

128KMac

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
50
31
Very interesting. I have gone through THREE watches where the face separated from the watch. Each time the Genius Bar technician professed ignorance of any issues, but each time replaced my watch with no questions asked. I had always assumed it was related to my activities (lots of hot, sweaty bike rides in Hawaii with attendant road vibrations) - but maybe there were some swollen battery issues (perhaps increased due to the aforementioned heat and humidity?)
 
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Robert.Walter

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
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I thought the front seal failed due to body oil/sweat (although I don't get it wet or wear it for exercise besides walking and I don't use skin creams, etc.). Didn't ever imagine it was a swollen battery issue. Happened while at my desk. Tapped the screen to wake up and it had a hollow thunk. On inspection I saw the seal on mine failed at the top, right and bottom and the display was attached only on the left like a cover on a book (this seems at odds with other's pics showing it only attached on the top like a note pad.)

My Series-0, 42mm Al sport, Watch was 21m/o w/o Care. The sr Care guy was on his way to telling me what the replacement cost would be. I stopped him and said I didn't pay ca 700$ for a watch to throw its crystal like this. I still have a Timex Boy Scout watch I bought in 1976 that I wore like crazy and it never threw its crystal. He shifted gears and remembered that in Europe there is a 2y warranty and, voila!, Apple would replace it for free!

We had quite a long discussion about the issue. He said and then repeated he had never ever seen something of this sort. He also promised I wouldn't see this problem again.

Although I love my watch, I have to say that I'm disappointed by many aspects of this issue and I have unease that a) this will happen again in another two years, and b) that the nearly dozen or so people I talked into getting a watch will have such a problem and I'll look like a dick for having talked them into buying them.

Attached is a pic of my failed watch.
 

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mi7chy

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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Very interesting. I have gone through THREE watches where the face separated from the watch. Each time the Genius Bar technician professed ignorance of any issues, but each time replaced my watch with no questions asked. I had always assumed it was related to my activities (lots of hot, sweaty bike rides in Hawaii with attendant road vibrations) - but maybe there were some swollen battery issues (perhaps increased due to the aforementioned heat and humidity?)
Heat/temperature inconsistency can be a factor to swollen batteries, as well as age of the battery, which Causes the swelling as gases are expelled from the battery to enlarge.
[doublepost=1493432191][/doublepost]
Too challenged to look at a teardown? This is why the Swiss watch industry was never worried about cheap disposable offshore made watches.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+Watch+Teardown/40655
You mean to challenged to explain why you posted an I fixit teardown of a battery, which explains nothing in the teardown itself In relation to your first quote . Or do you care elaborate on your original statement based off what findings? It's a wearable device and has a life span of maybe 4-5 years. Because American batteries are made so much better?

What about the other millions of Apple Watches sold that may not have experienced issues as noted in the article. Why Are you comparing a Swiss watch battery to an Apple Watch battery? Not Even close to being in the same category for a mechanical watch and a wearable device.
 
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Johnny907

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2014
663
877
Apple doesn't make a profit on these.
You're joking, yes? Considering how much Apple originally charged for gen 1's plus the ridiculous premium they tack on to the price of watch bands, they absolutely do make a profit.
[doublepost=1493435498][/doublepost]What I found funny was the way Apple, and the website AppleInsider, said that this was a small issue affecting a very limited number of users. So it's small enough to offer a warranty extension right off the bat without a fight, whereas they're still firmly burying their heads in the sand over the touch of death affected iPhone 6's. Clearly it's not so small an issue, or is it everyone in the industry is afraid anytime an issue involving failing batteries comes up?