Apple to replace cracked screens on select aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 mode...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited August 30
Apple on Friday launched a repair program to address a "very rare" screen cracking issue reported by owners of older aluminum Apple Watch models, with the company set to replace faulty displays free of charge.

Apple Watch Repair
Cracks might form and propagate around the device display.


Officially filed as an "Exchange and Repair Extension Program," the replacement initiative covers screens of aluminum Apple Water Series 2 and Series 3 devices that might, "under very rare circumstances," crack.

According to Apple, impacted units exhibit a crack that forms along the rounded edge of the screen, as shown in the above graphic. The crack might start on one side of the device before propagating to other parts of the screen.

The company did not specify an underlying cause to the problem, but customers have in the past reported damage similar to that detailed in the repair program document. In some cases, user devices exhibited cracks just weeks after purchase, and reportedly without substantial trauma.

Whether the fault lies in the screens or the design of Apple's wearable remains unknown.

Also unknown is whether Apple plans to reimburse affected customers for the cost of prior screen replacements. The support document does not mention such a provision and Apple is unlikely to offer the option as it would be difficult to verify claims that a watch was impaired by the now known issue.

Apple Watch variants eligible for screen replacement service include 38mm and 42mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2 , Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS, Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS + Cellular, Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 with GPS and Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 GPS + Cellular models. All colors options are included in the program.

The repair program webpage includes a link to a support document explaining how users can identify their Apple Watch by model number, which can be found in the Apple Watch app for iOS or on the watch casing.

Owners with eligible Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 models can take their device to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or brick-and-mortar Apple Store for assessment. Alternatively, customers can arrange to mail in their watch by contacting Apple Support. All repairs will be conducted at an Apple Repair Center and returned in approximately five days, Apple says.

Today's repair program is the first to address problems with Series 2 and Series 3 devices. Apple in 2017 issued internal repair period extensions for first-generation Apple Watch models suffering from separated back covers and swollen batteries.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    That’s very strange... 
    Correct me if i’m wrong, but I think those were made by LG.

    First thought was the watch battery was expanding, but obviously Apple would have identified that.  Next thought was thermal expansion...

    Heavy use from apps causing the processor to “overheat” that might not damage the processor but cause problems with the screen.

    Hopefully we don’t have throttlegate 2.0... (to keep the processor cooler)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    DeNTyDeNTy Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    I am on the phone with Apple support right now asking them to refund the repair cost that I paid for this issue in June...

    They tell me they will refund it :)
    edited August 30 seanismorrismuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    DeNTy said:
    I am on the phone with Apple support right now asking them to refund the repair cost that I paid for this issue in June...

    They tell me they will refund it :)
    Did you notice anything before it started cracking?  Are you a “heavy” watch user?

    There must be a pattern here...somewhere.


  • Reply 4 of 14
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    Officially filed as an "Exchange and Repair Extension Program," the
    replacement initiative covers screens of aluminum Apple Water Watch Series 2 and Series 3 devices that might, "under very rare circumstances," crack.

  • Reply 5 of 14
    My watch had this issue start nearly 2 years ago. I’ve never bashed it against anything.

    when the swollen battery issue came out, I took it to Apple. They took it away and eventually came back with some internal photos which “proved” it was caused by accidental damage and refused to repair it. I had no way of arguing the contrary.

    i’ve been living with the crack ever since. See attached photo.

    The path the crack has taken alway seemed suspect to me. Following the exact edge of the screen. 
    racerhomie3CloudTalkinavon b7viclauyyc
  • Reply 6 of 14
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,144member
    This defect is related to screen manufacturing.  Too thin around the curve, maybe.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,006member
    eriamjh said:
    This defect is related to screen manufacturing.  Too thin around the curve, maybe.
    Could be a few things, that’s definitely one. There could also be some kind of curing process that wasn’t followed properly. Whatever it is, the accounting department isn’t happy on this one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    My series 0 sport had no scratches at all but my new series 3 sport is all scratched in a couple weeks they should be replacing scratched screens too.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    DeNTyDeNTy Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    Since the Apple pencil is stored right next to the inductive charging coils on the iPhone, removing the battery will not be that big a deal. They can likely remove the lightening connector too.
    DeNTy said:
    I am on the phone with Apple support right now asking them to refund the repair cost that I paid for this issue in June...

    They tell me they will refund it :)
    Did you notice anything before it started cracking?  Are you a “heavy” watch user?

    There must be a pattern here...somewhere.


    Didn't really notice anything - just that I came home one day and it was cracked. I took it into the apple store and tried to convince them that an expanding battery caused the screen to crack, but they didn't buy it and charged me for the repair. Lo and behold, a couple of months later, it seems that many others must be having this same problem and Apple has decided to cover it. They say they are refunding my credit card (we'll see, it won't actually happen until after the long weekend).
  • Reply 10 of 14
    DeNTyDeNTy Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    eriamjh said:
    This defect is related to screen manufacturing.  Too thin around the curve, maybe.
    Probably incorrect cooling during manufacture that left stress in the glass. Makes it more likely to crack.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    June 2017, Apple replaced mine, the glass edge was like a razor blade. I think the photo helped. Happened when I rolled down my riding sleeve and the back of my middle finger slid across the the watch.

  • Reply 12 of 14
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,018member
    5hortty said:
    My watch had this issue start nearly 2 years ago. I’ve never bashed it against anything.

    when the swollen battery issue came out, I took it to Apple. They took it away and eventually came back with some internal photos which “proved” it was caused by accidental damage and refused to repair it. I had no way of arguing the contrary.
    You should try again now!
    5hortty
  • Reply 13 of 14
    This is most likely just a mismatch between the glass and the case where the case puts pressure on the glass and the glass eventually cracks.  If it was from a swollen internal component it wouldn't always manifest in this way (more likely it would just pop the glass off) and it wouldn't only happen on aluminum cased watches.

    Most likely, some cases were made out of tolerance -- which could mean a few thousandths of an inch -- because that seal is essentially tight enough to be water proof but without the benefit of gasket.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    This was a somewhat happy read today. My Series 2 Nike+ Aluminum case watch did this almost spontaneously one day several months ago. I had never noticed a crack, and I consider myself a fairly light and careful user. I was lying down and lifted the watch to see the time and the entire face fell out, with a crack almost exactly as pictured in the examples given, extending all the way around the watch face. Of course, the Apple Genius Bar told me repair would be nearly $200, and Amazon was having a sale on Series 3, so I bought a new one instead. I will gladly have Apple repair the Series 2, even if just on principle.
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