Man sues Apple over broken Apple Watch screen — and actually wins

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Crack! This one's got to go back to Apple.
Crack! This one's got to go back to Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Suing the world’s most powerful company and its army of lawyers over a cracked Apple Watch screen may sound like a great lesson in futility, but one man just walked away a winner after taking Apple to court in Great Britain.

Gareth Cross, from Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, discovered a crack in his Apple Watch Sport display a mere 10 days after buying the device after launch last year. A self-proclaimed “Mac fanatic,” Cross took his watch to the Apple Store to have it fixed under warranty but was informed it was not covered.

So he decided to sue Apple in small claims court. And somehow, he won.

Arguing that Apple had breached the U.K.’s Sale of Goods Act, Cross beat Apple’s lawyers in the six-month legal battle. The court ordered Apple to pay Cross £429, covering the cost of the watch plus court fees.

“The case did start to become a little stressful, especially toward the end with the prospect of having to attend court to defend my claim against what was the most valuable company in the world,” Cross told the BBC.

The judge ruled Apple had breached the contract of sale by refusing to fix the watch, which was advertised as scratch-resistant. Now that the company lost the legal battle, it has since changed the product’s description to remove the claim that it’s resistant to impact.

Apple is supposed to deliver Cross his money by February 22, but Cross says he might wait a bit before spending it on another Cupertino wrist computer.

“I plan to buy another Apple Watch, as for the 10 days I had it, I really liked it,” said Cross, “but I may wait until the next model is out.”

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  • … The screen was already broken… that is not something unexpected…

  • William D

    Just to be clear: the photo used in this article by Cult Of Mac isn’t at all representative of the crack shown on the BBC website. I suspect the legal argument was around the screen being defective from the start

  • William D

    Just found a much more detailed article on the BBC wales website. It explains that Apple had claimed it was scratch resistant implying resistance to everyday wear and tear.

    Mr Cross said: “I went for the sport version because I am prone to knocking things about a bit and it said it was impact resistant.

    “I hadn’t even been doing anything strenuous, just sitting around watching TV. When I got to work the hairline crack had got bigger and bigger so I called Apple up to get it repaired.”

    Apple has now changed the description of the watch, removing the claim it was resistant to impact.

    As such I can see why he won. It was not fit for the purposes for which it was sold. I.e. contravention of trade descriptions act etc.

  • BoltmanLives

    Guess my Lumia 920 dropped from space video to compare Apple watch break resistance was unauthorized here, weird? Easily found on Google