Repairing original Apple Watch just got harder

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Apple Watch supply is finally catching up with demand.
The very first Apple Watch was added to Apple’s list of vintage products on Thursday.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The first Apple Watch released back in 2015 has been classified by Apple as vintage. That might sound like a compliment, but it really means that getting the wearable repaired is a bit more difficult than it used to be.

Note that this is not Apple Watch Series 1. That’s a different model.

The first Apple Watch to go vintage

Apple promises that its computers can get repaired by Apple Stores or authorized service providers for five years after the product is no longer offered for sale. After that, the products are classified as vintage. These can still be repaired but are subject to parts availability. In other words, if a part your device needs isn’t available, it can‘t be fixed.

Two years later, the devices get reclassified as obsolete. After that point, Apple will not repair the product. The exception is Mac notebooks that are eligible for an additional battery-only repair period.

The original Apple Watch just stepped over the line into vintage. This model debuted in April 2015 and was discontinued in September 2016. It’s last software update was watchOS 4.3.2, which debuted in mid-2018, but being classified as vintage or obsolete has nothing to do with operating system updates.

Apple’s initial wearable (sometimes called Series 0) was replaced by Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 in Sept. 2016. Series 2 was only available for a year so will go vintage Sept. 2022, but Series 1 stayed in Apple’s product lineup longer so it won’t go vintage until Sept. 2023.

Source: Apple Support