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AnakChan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2015
46
3
I hope I c an get some advice/guidance here. I had a series 4 with WatchOS 9.3.1 paired to my iPhone 14 Pro Max on iOS 16.3.1. The watch developed a battery problem with a battery needing service message.

I took it into the local Apple Store and they replaced the watch instead of repairing it. However it came back with WatchOS 9.6.2 and in pairing it's asking me to upgrade my iPhone iOS. However for personal reasons, I want to keep my iPhone on iOS 16.3.1. The Apple Store engineer mentioned that WatchOS 9.x should pair with any iPhone 8 or newer with iOS 16.x and it should have worked. The store's demo iPhone iOS 16.6.1 was able to pair with the WatchOS 9.6.2 but my iPhone's 16.3.1 and my wife's iPhone 12 16.2 was not able to pair with the WatchOS. I had asked Apple to downgrade it already and it came back with WatchOS 9.6.2.

Note that during the Apple Watch startup, it says that I do need to have an iPhone with iOS 16.0 and newer (which my phone does satisfy), and the engineer agrees with that message but clearly either this particular replacement unit, or my phone (nor my wife's) don't seem to like each other. Are both the engineer, and the Apple Watch startup message wrong?

The store is reluctant to take the unit back again saying they've done their job by replacing my watch and therefore addressing my original battery issue and want me to call Apple Support myself. I've also suggested that they take the replacement watch back, refund me my Apple repair fee, and return my original Apple Watch (with the battery problem). They can receive the replacement and refund the repair fee, but they cannot return my original Apple Watch as it's already been "repurposed for parts".

Any recommendations/thoughts are greatly appreciated.

P.S. No, I am not prepared to upgrade my iOS for the Apple Watch.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,376
5,216
Talk to Apple. Ask if you can send the watch in and have it flashed with an older OS.

My gut feel is they won’t, but that’s probably your only option.
 

AnakChan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2015
46
3
Thx for your reply. Yes I actually did ask them that already. It came back with a single word "restored" but no further information. That's when the store temporarily paired it to their demo phone and found that it was "restored" to WatchOS9.6.2 (original WatchOS version from the initial replacement was unknown).

The bummer is that if they can't downgrade, they could offer a refund (and I return) the replacement unit. But I've effectively lost my original watch.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,376
5,216
A refund on your Series 4? I think the odds of that are the same as me asking the gas station for 1980’s gas prices.

It is a bummer though, particularly that the original is gone.
 

AnakChan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2015
46
3
Nope nope, I paid for Apple Repair Service of the original Series 4. The repair has come back as a replacement unit with the updated WatchOS. So if I don't want that replacement unit and return it, they will refund the Apple Repair Service fee.


However they still can't return me my original Series 4 as it's already dismantled for parts.

Hope this clarifies the previous post.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,376
5,216
Nope nope, I paid for Apple Repair Service of the original Series 4. The repair has come back as a replacement unit with the updated WatchOS. So if I don't want that replacement unit and return it, they will refund the Apple Repair Service fee.


However they still can't return me my original Series 4 as it's already dismantled for parts.

Hope this clarifies the previous post.
Makes much more sense now! :) Thanks.
 

AnakChan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 21, 2015
46
3
After much to-n-fro & escalation within Apple Support/Eng, they have agreed to downgrade WatchOS o the replacement unit. I've shipped it to the Apple Repair Centre this morning and hopefully no further dramas.

The learning experience I've had here is that (with persistence) Apple Support Online is more accomodating than with their in-store Genius Bar support. Granted my case is unique, but rather surprisingly face-to-face support was more adamant in sticking to official policies than with over-the-phone/online support.
 

Broken Hope

macrumors 68000
Jan 15, 2015
1,704
1,730
You’re lucky Apple are being so accommodating, they replaced your defective device. It’s not their fault you want to stay on an old, insecure OS version.
 
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