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Apple Extends Free Repairs of First-Generation Apple Watches With Detached Back Covers

If you have a first-generation Apple Watch with a separated back cover, Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair it free of charge, according to an internal service policy obtained by MacRumors.

Apple Watch with separated back cover via Reddit user PoorSpanaway

Apple recently extended the service policy's coverage period to up to three years after the original purchase date. If you bought an Apple Watch in April 2015, for example, it is eligible for a free repair until April 2018.
Apple has determined that under certain conditions on some Apple Watch (1st generation) devices the back cover may separate from the watch case. Apple will service eligible devices free of charge. Apple will authorize coverage for three (3) years from the date of purchase.
The service policy has been in effect since last year and applies to any first-generation Apple Watch, including Sport, Edition, and Hermès models, even if the device's limited one-year warranty or extended AppleCare coverage has elapsed.

Affected customers can call an Apple Store and schedule a Genius Bar appointment, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, to initiate the repair process. Or, customers can call Apple Support to arrange shipment of the damaged Apple Watch to an Apple Repair Center in a postage paid box.

Apple advises customers inquiring about a refund for a previous Apple Watch back cover repair to contact Apple Support.

Several users have shared pictures of their first-generation Apple Watch with the back cover falling off on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web. In many cases, the back cover detaches when the Apple Watch is removed from its magnetic charger.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, shared a picture of his wife's stainless steel Apple Watch with a detached back cover last October. He said the Apple Watch, purchased in May 2015, was providing erratic workout readings before coming apart after it was taken off of its magnetic charger.
While many customers report that Apple repaired their Apple Watch free of charge, some have been forced to pay out of pocket. Since the service policy has not been publicly announced, some Apple support representatives may be unaware of its existence. Escalating your request to a senior advisor may help.

Apple appears to have fixed the issue with its newer Series 1 and Series 2 models, perhaps by using a stronger adhesive.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tag: AASP
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Not at all surprising that they'll take care of it. Apple almost always covers issues like this, even long out of warranty.
Rating: 13 Votes
16 months ago

Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?


Nice attempt at snark. Because excellent customer service is a major reason we stay loyal.
Rating: 12 Votes
16 months ago

Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?

To save themselves money on these repairs?
Rating: 9 Votes
16 months ago
Now THAT is the Apple I want to see more of and buy products from! NOT the Apple that initially swept the so-called Touch disease under the rug until they were called out on it.

BTW, I've been swimming with my Nike Series 2 Sport. It's awesome! I think by the end of summer I'm going to have back the fit figure I lost to middle age and donuts. :p
Rating: 6 Votes
16 months ago
Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?
Rating: 6 Votes
16 months ago

Same experience here. Had an out of warranty iPhone with an intermittent home button. It was replaced on the spot.

Had a friend accidentally drop his older iPhone 5 into a toilet, which caused it to fail. He went to an Apple store, explained what happened, and the phone was replaced on the spot.

Two months after AppleCare+ ran out on my iPad Air, I accidentally smashed the screen. Took it in, said, "well, this is totally my fault, and my coverage has expired, so what are my options?" - they replaced it for the cost it would have been had it still been under AppleCare+, $50. I like Apple's service.
Rating: 3 Votes
16 months ago

Aluminum (On body)

Apple is a Global Company, they should use international English, it's aluminium.

Nope, sorry, adding random extra vowels to words is a trait of English as used in the British Empire. You may recall we removed ourselves from that a few centuries back. "British English" and "American English" have diverged a bit since then ("two nations separated by a common language"). Apple was founded and built in the USA. Heck, they proudly put "Designed in California" on everything (and furthermore you're reading this coverage on a website created in the USA). Aluminum is the proper spelling.

If you'd argued that they should give all dimensions and weights in millimeters and grams, I'd be more sympathetic. (Note that they do use millimeters every keynote when they breathlessly exclaim how thin the latest devices are - nobody wants to know that the iPhone is 37/128th of an inch thick.)
Rating: 2 Votes
16 months ago
My daughter 1st Gen had the battery swelling problem. Took it into the Apple Store and 3 days later had a brand new watch. Excellent service.
Rating: 2 Votes
16 months ago

riiight, sell an overpriced flawed product then "loose" money by repairing it 3 years later. They must be loosing a lot of money and know customers love to repair their products.


You clearly don't get it. Apple sells millions of the Apple Watch around the world and is likely the most successful Smart Watch on the market. However, An issue arose with the Apple Watch, which they acknowledged and Apple is extending the warranty repair for free up to three years. Please Tell me what other company is going to give you this type of service AND stand behind their product to make the situation right.

But you seem to know Apple intentionally sells "Flawed" products by your claim.
Rating: 2 Votes
16 months ago

Now THAT is the Apple I want to see more of and buy products from! NOT the Apple that initially swept the so-called Touch disease under the rug until they were called out on it.

BTW, I've been swimming with my Nike Series 2 Sport. It's awesome! I think by the end of summer I'm going to have back the fit figure I lost to middle age and donuts. :p

I have a 6 Plus that bent in the spot they are known to bend at, and the screen also stopped responding and I was told at the local Apple store they wanted 329 to fix it. I left.
Rating: 2 Votes

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