Apple extends free repairs for first-gen Apple Watch back covers to three years

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Apple has quietly extended free repairs for separated back covers on the first-generation Apple Watch to three years, regardless of warranty coverage.

Image Credit: John Gruber on Twitter
Image Credit: John Gruber on Twitter


The change should apply to any first-gen model -- Sport, standard, Edition, or Hermes -- even if a previous warranty has expired. To arrange a repair, people must contact an Apple store, an authorized service provider, or else Apple's remote support staff.

People who have already paid for a back cover repair may be able to secure a refund by calling Apple Support.

The loose cover issue has been known since 2015. Among affected people, the part often appears to be separating when taking a Watch off its magnetic charger. The root cause is unknown, but one possibility is that Apple's manufacturer didn't use strong or sufficient glue.

The repair extension was earlier reported by MacRumors, and confirmed by AppleInsider sources.

Apple's Series 1 and 2 Watches, launched in late 2016, so far appear to be sturdier. The Series 1 is essentially a first-gen Watch with a faster processor, but the Series 2 includes additional upgrades, such as full waterproofing -- making it essential that the device stay sealed.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 220member
    Nice to know that warranty is extended for this issue, but I have never had a problem, didn't even know it was a problem.
    mike1Solimagman1979jbdragonstanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    Mapple is always dinged by repair-kit sellers for using too much glue. "It's too hard to service!" Most users don't give a rat's buttocks. Glue the snot out of it so it doesn't fall apart. (Series 0 acquired new October 2016. No problems yet. I have a tiny original Mac stand that Watch slips into sideways. I wonder if not pulling the charger straight back helps stay together. [I bought a knockoff band that let Watch fall on concrete. No signs of problems from that save me pitching the crap band and buying a genuine Mapple band for 50 bucks.])
  • Reply 4 of 29
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 24member
    My wife's has fallen off twice. Mine has never fallen off. But at least she wasn't stupid enough to throw it away.
    magman1979StrangeDaysstanthemanrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    sricesrice Posts: 112member
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    magman1979StrangeDaysrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 29
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Fitbit is still one of the world leaders in wearable sales, for the record.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,202member
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Fitbit is still one of the world leaders in wearable sales, for the record.
    You'll have to qualify both wearable and sales. Watches are wearables, but I have a feeling you're only counting CE that least have fitness tracker capabilities and only counting their unit sales, not sales revenue.
    magman1979StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
    pkisselpkissel Posts: 20member
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    I had to smile at your post.  FitBit is notorious for their build quality.  My experience, and those of countless other folks who have posted similar accounts, is one of constant breakage, calling customer support, getting the runaround, getting a new unit, and then repeat until you've grown exhausted and move on to another product.  If you can afford it I'd look into some of the older, more mainstream fitness companies such as Garmin.  DCRainmaker has done a great job of testing various devices (I have no affiliation) and even keeps his own list of what he uses (https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/05/2015-swimbikerun-gear-list.html).  He seems to prefer the Garmin Felix though everyone has their own needs/reasons for picking a particular device.  Good luck!
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 29
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,369member
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    fitbit is notorious for bad quality control and bad customer service, is this a joke posts? Reads like one.


    magman1979StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Watch 1 was a play toy and really useless.  When my iPhone becomes obsolete and I can do everything the phone does on an Apple Watch - I might buy another.  Btw that Watch 1 I threw away in the garbage was replaced by Apple  - as it fell apart - the "glue" is a problem in high humidity places.  I travel lots and can't afford to piss around with a device that is not dependable.  So back to a quality Swiss timepiece while deciding and waiting on the next Fitbit release - which looks great from the information available.  I don't need useless apps, talking watch - just time and fitness / health info.  Too bad Apple makes only 1 device model that try's to do everything ... but does not.  Before someone jumps on me - I am a big user of everything Apple has ever made - the Watch is the first product that was a fail for me.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 11 of 29
    EdmontonGuy said:
    Watch 1 was a play toy and really useless. 
    Mayhap with the first WatchOS, but subsequent releases have ameliorated the situation. I poked around on my watch before upgrading and was astonished to discover the bottom button only accessed Find My Friends. As my friends aren't lost, I found that pretty superfluous. 
  • Reply 12 of 29
    Soli said:
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Fitbit is still one of the world leaders in wearable sales, for the record.
    You'll have to qualify both wearable and sales. Watches are wearables, but I have a feeling you're only counting CE that least have fitness tracker capabilities and only counting their unit sales, not sales revenue.
    Yes, that ranking does include only "smart" devices. 

  • Reply 13 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,202member
    Soli said:
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Fitbit is still one of the world leaders in wearable sales, for the record.
    You'll have to qualify both wearable and sales. Watches are wearables, but I have a feeling you're only counting CE that least have fitness tracker capabilities and only counting their unit sales, not sales revenue.
    Yes, that ranking does include only "smart" devices. 

    And is that unit sales and/or sales revenue?
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Fitbit is still one of the world leaders in wearable sales, for the record.
    You'll have to qualify both wearable and sales. Watches are wearables, but I have a feeling you're only counting CE that least have fitness tracker capabilities and only counting their unit sales, not sales revenue.
    Yes, that ranking does include only "smart" devices. 

    And is that unit sales and/or sales revenue?
    Units:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/03/02/apple-watch-saw-best-quarter-ever-with-46m-units-during-holidays-estimate-claims

    Apple is almost certainly more profitable, given its strategy with other product lines, but we don't know - it doesn't break out Watch units or revenues in its quarterlies.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    Appleish said:
    My wife's has fallen off twice. Mine has never fallen off. But at least she wasn't stupid enough to throw it away.
    My wife's Apple Watch screen fell off when she dinged it against the bathroom sink.
    Since it is a year and a half old I figured I might as well replace the battery while it is open.
    Unfortunately the battery and the adhesive gasket has been out of stock for quite a while at ifixit.com

  • Reply 16 of 29
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 961member
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    So you threw out one of the best fitness trackers on the planet in favour of a POS like a Fitbit?

    OK, have fun with that...
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 29
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 961member

    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Watch 1 was a play toy and really useless.  When my iPhone becomes obsolete and I can do everything the phone does on an Apple Watch - I might buy another.  Btw that Watch 1 I threw away in the garbage was replaced by Apple  - as it fell apart - the "glue" is a problem in high humidity places.  I travel lots and can't afford to piss around with a device that is not dependable.  So back to a quality Swiss timepiece while deciding and waiting on the next Fitbit release - which looks great from the information available.  I don't need useless apps, talking watch - just time and fitness / health info.  Too bad Apple makes only 1 device model that try's to do everything ... but does not.  Before someone jumps on me - I am a big user of everything Apple has ever made - the Watch is the first product that was a fail for me.
    "Before someone jumps on me - I am a big user of everything Apple has ever made" And that right there is where I lost my respect for you, and also along with the rest of your post. Only those who are insecure about what they are posting that people will see right thru their BS have to make this statement.

    I had the Watch Series 0 (original) since launch day, loved it, even though was a bit slow at times, and it was NEVER a "play toy". I used it for transit navigation with Transit app, health with Strava, remote Camera using built-in app along with Camera+ and ProCam, Apple Pay ALL the time, amongst other usages. You calling it a "play toy" just made you look like an unknowledgeable bafoon.
    SoliStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 29
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,202member
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Watch 1 was a play toy and really useless.  When my iPhone becomes obsolete and I can do everything the phone does on an Apple Watch - I might buy another.  Btw that Watch 1 I threw away in the garbage was replaced by Apple  - as it fell apart - the "glue" is a problem in high humidity places.  I travel lots and can't afford to piss around with a device that is not dependable.  So back to a quality Swiss timepiece while deciding and waiting on the next Fitbit release - which looks great from the information available.  I don't need useless apps, talking watch - just time and fitness / health info.  Too bad Apple makes only 1 device model that try's to do everything ... but does not.  Before someone jumps on me - I am a big user of everything Apple has ever made - the Watch is the first product that was a fail for me.
    When exactly do you think this "I can do everything the phone does on an Apple Watch" time will come? Personally, I can't imagine doing most of what I use my iPhone for on a watch, regardless of how large the screen may become on all the unused space that is the wrist and forearm.

    When will even using Safari on your wrist ever make sense, much less the countless other things one does with a modern smartphone? I don't see it happening, yet my Watch is the first thing I put on every day and the last thing I take off. My iPhone can certainly do stuff my Watch can, but the Watch is indispensable in allowing me to save time and effort, and to maximize my efficiency every… single… day.
    edited July 2017 StrangeDaysmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 29
    srice said:
    Too late.  I threw it out after warranty expired because the back cover came off again and again.  Won't be buying another one either. Waiting to see what Fitbit releases this fall - I was only interested in health and fitness anyway and dreaded the bulk of Apple Watch.
    That was dumb.  Is fitbit still in business?

    Just received a replacement Gen 1 after the watch battery expanded and popped the screen off the watch. They've extended the warranty for expanding battery issues for 3 years as well.
    Watch 1 was a play toy and really useless.  When my iPhone becomes obsolete and I can do everything the phone does on an Apple Watch - I might buy another.  Btw that Watch 1 I threw away in the garbage was replaced by Apple  - as it fell apart - the "glue" is a problem in high humidity places.  I travel lots and can't afford to piss around with a device that is not dependable.  So back to a quality Swiss timepiece while deciding and waiting on the next Fitbit release - which looks great from the information available.  I don't need useless apps, talking watch - just time and fitness / health info.  Too bad Apple makes only 1 device model that try's to do everything ... but does not.  Before someone jumps on me - I am a big user of everything Apple has ever made - the Watch is the first product that was a fail for me.
    Ha - good one! Bet you didn't even own one.

    I still have a gen 1 and agreed the first watchOS was a work in progress, but subsequent OS updates have vastly improved usability and battery life.
    StrangeDaysmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    No problems with the back cover. But... the SCREEN on mine just popped up on one side and flops around. Never dropped it, hit anything, etc. I was quite shocked when I put it on a week ago. Really bummed.
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