Apple is extending the service coverage period for first-gen Apple Watch devices with battery problems to three years, according to a new report. The service extension reportedly applies to Apple Watch models that are experiencing swollen or expanding batteries, according to an Apple repair database entry obtained by 9to5Mac. That entry was reportedly sent via email to Apple Store employees and Authorized Service Providers, but as of the writing of this article, the company has not publicly announced the extended coverage period.
“Apple has extended Service coverage for eligible Apple Watch (1st gen) models with an expanded/swollen battery to three years after the original date of purchase. Eligible devices will be covered for two years beyond the original 1-year Limited Warranty,” the database entry reads. The change will allow first-gen Apple Watch owners to have their devices repaired up to three years from its purchase date — even if they did not purchase an AppleCare plan.
Worth noting is that, due to the lack of public announcement, it’s currently unknown whether Apple will reimburse customers who have already paid for Apple Watch battery replacements.
The issue in question is the result of the Apple Watch’s lithium-ion battery swelling or expanding after being overcharged, overheated or punctured. Reportedly, the problem renders an Apple Watch unusable, as the expanding battery causes the screen to push away from the device’s casing. While the battery issue seems relatively rare, reports have circulated in various places, including Reddit and Apple’s official Support Communities forums. Currently, the issue seems to be uncommon enough to have not been covered by mainstream media outlets.
The first-generation of Apple Watch was originally unveiled on April 24, 2015 — meaning that original devices sold that year are just passing the two-year mark.