Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement

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Apple has informed its retail staff that it will substitute some Apple Watch Series 3 repairs with the Apple Watch Series 4, due to low inventory on the older model. The announcement was spotted by an internal memo delivered to staff and Authorized Service Providers, seen by 9to5Mac.


Now, customers looking for a repair or replacement of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and cellular, can instead receive the stainless steel Series 4 model with GPS and cellular. The change is said to apply to Apple retail stores and ASPs globally, but it's unclear at this time if the Series 4 upgrades are a permanent solution to the Series 3 shortages.

Apple's new repair/replacement upgrade for the Apple Watch is the latest of several instances of the company substituting Apple Watch repairs with newer models. This began in January, when the company announced that some first-generation Apple Watches and Apple Watch Series 1 could qualify for Series 2 replacements, due to supply constraints on repair parts for the older models. Then, earlier in May, Apple confirmed that repairs of certain Apple Watch Series 2 models will be fulfilled with equivalent Series 3 models due to temporary shortages of unspecified Series 2 parts.

To initiate a repair, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. As usual, it's not guaranteed that all locations will acknowledge existence of this internal policy, especially given that there is no definitive end date, so your mileage may vary.

Article Link: Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement
 
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Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
2,046
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Seeing a new peak in creativity in terms of reported and caused issues there.
 

zed1291

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
195
234
NYC
Please note: there is absolutely no way for an Apple employee to know 100% whether or not your Apple Watch will be replaced with the exact same model or the upgraded one prior to sending it to the offsite repair facility for replacement.

After it’s been sent out and you find out it it’s the same or newer generation, it’s not possible to retrieve the original watch back.

It’s best to assume you’re getting the same watch, and be surprised and delighted if it does happen to be upgraded.
 

magicschoolbus

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2014
1,705
5,621
Maybe this disproves my theory - I thought the S3 would stick around and be priced as an entry-level $200.00-$250.00 AW. I thought the S4 priced where the current S3 is would compete too much with the S5.

Maybe they really are going to get rid of the S3 and keep the S4 as the new entry-level when the S5 announces.
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,528
2,961
this is why i like being an apple customer, replace with equal or better, you try that with bestbuy and they will just laugh at your face.
You do realize though, that one pays for this luxury in the price of the item don't you? If you are ok with that, then fine. So am I. :)
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,300
35,349
I’ve been meaning to get my Series 3 screen fixed under AppleCare. Do they replace the display or the whole watch?
From my experience, If your display is cracked or defective, they will just replace the display, not the whole watch.

[Side Note: Apple does not repair displays in store, the watch is shipped to a repair depot for repairs, then shipped back to the Apple Store or customer.]
 
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travis64

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2008
842
509
NEW YORK
My s3 has a small crack on screen that keeps getting bigger slowly.how big does it have to be for a replacement?
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68020
Nov 10, 2018
2,422
2,329
What a great upgrade that would be for those lucky people! I loved my jump from S3 to S4.
 

CaptainAndrew

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2016
22
10
Maybe this disproves my theory - I thought the S3 would stick around and be priced as an entry-level $200.00-$250.00 AW. I thought the S4 priced where the current S3 is would compete too much with the S5.

Maybe they really are going to get rid of the S3 and keep the S4 as the new entry-level when the S5 announces.
I can still see Apple going with this strategy. The story mentions that only Stainless Steel models are able to upgraded from S3 to S4. They stopped selling the S3 Steel models last fall, so I imagine they've stopped manufacturing them and are relying on whatever leftover stock they have for repairs. Aluminum S3 models on the the other hand are still being sold and thus are probably still being manufactured. If they wanted to, they can definitely keep selling S3 aluminum models past this fall.
 
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magicschoolbus

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2014
1,705
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I can still see Apple going with this strategy. The story mentions that only Stainless Steel models are able to upgraded from S3 to S4. They stopped selling the S3 Steel models last fall, so I imagine they've stopped manufacturing them and are relying on whatever leftover stock they have for repairs. Aluminum S3 models on the the other hand are still being sold and thus are probably still being manufactured. If they wanted to, they can definitely keep selling S3 aluminum models past this fall.
Ahhh - Very true. I still see the S3 sticking around.. no way they sell a cheaper S4 next to a S5. When customers have to compare a new design to old, it's easier to upsell to the new device.
 

niv007

macrumors newbie
Apr 4, 2019
15
5
Do they ever replace watches bought elsewhere? In the UK I got mine with EE (Telecom company) and I think I recall the paperwork saying that any tech issues should be taken up to Apple and not them, but not sure.

Also, is this under AppleCare+ claims only? I've had mine since Dec'17 without AppleCare+ and no big issues so far but wondered what would happen if it goes bad in the next couple of weeks ;)
 

Janschi

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2013
68
52
Do they ever replace watches bought elsewhere? In the UK I got mine with EE (Telecom company) and I think I recall the paperwork saying that any tech issues should be taken up to Apple and not them, but not sure.
Yes they replace it but if its not within your first year of purchase or during your Apple Care Coverage time, you have to pay for the replacement.
 
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