American multinational tech major Apple will no longer offer hardware repairs for out-of-warranty Apple Watch models, starting from Series 6, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported today. This development is a potential inconvenience for consumers, especially those with devices no longer covered by warranty.
The company has reportedly notified its customer service teams about these changes. However, Apple will continue to provide software-related assistance, such as operating system reinstallation.
This situation has left customers who own affected models in a precarious position. Those with models still under warranty or covered by AppleCare Plus are not impacted by these restrictions. The company has indicated that it will notify customers when hardware replacements become feasible again.
To recap, Apple recently made a significant decision to cease the online sale of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the United States. This move comes ahead of a ban instigated by the US International Trade Commission, stemming from a patent dispute with Masimo Corp, a medical device company. The ban, scheduled to take effect on December 25, is related to patents associated with blood oxygen sensing technology in these Apple Watch models.
The halt in sales is not just limited to Apple’s online store; it will extend to its physical retail stores in the US after December 24. However, Apple Watch SE models, which do not have the contested blood oxygen feature, remain available for sale. The ban on sales and repairs will last until Apple can reach a licensing agreement with Masimo, obtain a federal reprieve, or address the patent issue, possibly through a software update.
Elsewhere, Apple unveiled its newest wearables: the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 at its annual ‘Wonderlust’ event on September 12. The Apple watch Series 9 features S9 chipset, which is equipped with a robust GPU, and starts at $399 in the United States. The company also introduced its newest iPhone 15 series at the event.