Apple is giving the early adopters of its first-gen Apple Watches a treat. If they have swollen battery problems, that is.
The first-gen Apple Watch was launched in April 2015, while the next-gen Series 3 will be released sometime in the second half of this year.
Warranty Extended By 1 More Year
Apple sent an email to Authorized Service Providers addressing this battery problem of Series 1 Apple Watches. The email was obtained in this exclusive report.
"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," wrote Apple in the email.
Normally, Apple's service program for the repairs of its devices with swollen battery is two years (one year + one-year Limited Warranty). But because the Apple Watch Series 1 was released on April 24, 2015, thus marking its second anniversary, Apple's one-year extension brings the total to three years.
It is unclear whether this extension is Apple's response to a massive case of battery swelling. The number of people affected is unclear, and given the lack of official public announcement, it may not be that big. Nonetheless, sporadic reports of swollen battery issues have appeared in Apple's support page some five months ago, and this response by Apple is always welcome for early adopters of Series 1 watches.
Based on the posts of users who posted online, most cases involved their Apple Watch screen getting pushed out by the swollen battery. The battery popped to a size that separated the display, thus destroying connections and making the watch unusable.
Another user reported hearing a "pop sound" and upon inspection, the watch was hot. The user was also worried that the swell could have led to an explosion, which could cause serious injuries.
This concern was not unfounded, given the recent cases of exploding batteries on mobile devices. The most infamous is the Galaxy Note 7, which prompted manufacturer Samsung to recall more than 96 percent of released devices.
Apple itself is not immune to isolated cases of exploding batteries. In February this year, an iPhone 7 user posted a video of a smoldering iPhone 7 Plus, supposedly caused by a battery explosion.