Apple may replace Apple Watch Series 2 models brought in for repair with Series 3 models for the time being, according to an internally distributed service document.
The temporary repair policy only applies to 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 devices, and only because of an unspecified component shortage.
The internal document, obtained by MacRumors, was shared with Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers on Monday.
It’s worth noting that the document doesn’t specify whether color or casing variants play a role in which devices are eligible for a swap.
Note that this isn’t a trade-in program. In other words, you can’t just bring your Apple Watch Series 2 and get a free replacement.
Similarly, it’s likely that the policy doesn’t apply to all Series 2 repair orders.
But if your Apple Watch Series 2 requires repairs that are impacted by the part shortage, technicians are officially authorized to swap out the device for the newer model.
The document also reminds service staff that Apple Watch Series 3 models require an iPhone compatible with watchOS 4 or later. Technicians are advised to let iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c owners know that they’ll need to upgrade to a new iPhone to use their replacement Series 3.
If a user can’t accept a substitute Apple Watch Series 3 model, the document says that they can contact Apple Support to request a refund for the device.
This isn’t the first time Apple offered newer devices as a substitute for repairs. Back in 2017, Apple replaced certain Apple Watch Series 0 models with newer Series 1 models because of a similar component supply shortage.
There’s no guarantee that your local Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider will honor this temporary repair policy. And since there’s no stated end date, we’re not sure how long the policy will last.
But if you’re a lucky Apple Watch Series 2 owner who needs a repair for your device, there’s a chance that you could get an upgrade for much less than buying a new Watch outright.
You can set up an appointment at a Genius Bar or Apple’s Get Support webpage.