Apple cracks, straps on free repair service for defective Watches

Got a Series 2 or 3 in aluminium with a borked screen? Things might be looking up for you

Good news for owners of certain Apple Watches – the vendor has initiated a free-of-charge repair service for those afflicted with a design defect that can cause the screen to crack.

"Apple has determined that, under very rare circumstances, a crack may form along the rounded edge of the screen in aluminium models of an Apple Watch Series 2 or Series 3. The crack may begin on one side and then may continue around the screen," the alert on its website confirms.

The Series 2 – the first to gain waterproofing – was discontinued by Apple as the third generation came out in September 2017.

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Devices eligible for the programme include the Watch 2's 38mm and 42mm case sizes in space grey, gold, rose gold and silver aluminium, as well as the Nike+ version. The Series 3s covered by the repair service have the same case sizes and colours, include GPS and Cellular models, and the Nike + version – all the 3s must have been sold between September 2017 to 2019.

"An Apple Authorised Service Provider will replace the screen on eligible Apple Watch units that exhibit this type of crack, free of charge," the company added.

Apple dominates the smartwatch market. According to data from Strategy Analytics, it shipped a total 22.5 million devices in 2018, half of the entire global market of 45 million units.

Apple was hit with a class-action lawsuit in California in early summer 2018 when a user claimed Apple was aware of an issue in the Series 0 to 3 generations that could cause the screen to crack or detach through no fault of the owner.

The case was tossed, however, as US District Judge Lucy Koh claimed the plaintiff, Kenneth Sciacca, had not shown an actual defect or elucidate the flaw.

Still, Apple has clearly felt compelled to offer the repair service for models it has deemed to be at risk. ®

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