If you have a first-generation Apple Watch that needs repairing, Apple Stores and authorized repair outlets may be able to simply replace it with a Series 1 model.
That’s according to an announcement Apple made on Thursday to employees at its retail outlets, as well as authorized third-party Apple service providers. The authorization doesn’t explicitly say that it’s a simple trade-in, but instead authorities employees to substitute original Apple Watch parts with Series 1 components. In some cases, presumably, first-generation Apple Watch owners will be receiving an entirely new device. Of course, it’s purely dependent on what exact repairs are required for a particular device.
“In some countries, Apple Watch Aluminum (1st generation) parts (in all colors) may be substituted with Apple Watch Aluminum (Series 1) parts. The parts substitution should now be working properly in MobileGenius and Repair Central,” the announcement read.
There are a couple caveats with the announcement. For one, it didn’t clarify which countries the policy change would be valid in — so it’s not currently clear which countries you’ll be able to get a replacement Series 1 watch. Additionally, the parts replacement is only valid for aluminum Apple Watch models in Space Gray, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.
The first-generation Apple Watch was rolled out in 2015, and is no longer covered under Apple’s one-year warranty (though customers who purchased AppleCare can still get their watches repaired for free for up to two years). The Apple Watch Series 1 lineup was first introduced in September 2016 alongside the new Series 2 models. For the most part, the original Apple Watch and the Series 1 lineup are virtually identical. The only difference is the chipset — the Series 1 model comes with a dual-core S2 processor, which is similar to the chipset in the Series 2 but lacks GPS capabilities.