A faulty first-gen Apple Watch could get you a free upgrade

A faulty first-gen Apple Watch could get you a free upgrade


Apple Watch
Apple Watch Series 3 will look exactly the same as its predecessors.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you have a first-generation Apple Watch that’s faulty, you could bag a free upgrade when you take it to the Apple store.

Employees and Authorized Service Providers in some countries have been given authorization to replace original models with Apple Watch Series 1 units, but only certain variants are eligible.

Apple Watch Series 1 is a nice improvement over its predecessor, thanks to a dual-core S1P chip that significantly improves performance. It’s almost identical to the S2 chip in Apple Watch Series 2, only without the built-in GPS.

If that couldn’t persuade you to upgrade, and you’re still clinging onto the original Apple Watch, you may be in for a treat if something goes wrong. MacRumors reports that Apple is allowing repairers to swap first-generation units with Series 1 units in some countries.

“In some countries, Apple Watch Aluminum (1st generation) parts (in all colors) may be substituted with Apple Watch Aluminum (Series 1) parts,” reads the memo distributed to Apple store employees and Authorized Service Providers.

It mentions “parts” specifically, rather than complete units, but in most cases, Apple will simply swap out your faulty Apple Watch with a replacement rather than repair it.

Of course, the original Apple Watch is no longer covered by the standard one-year warranty, but if you purchased AppleCare for extended coverage, you’ll be eligible for free repairs for two years from the date of purchase if something goes wrong.


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