The Ban on Apple Watch is Also Affecting Repairs

The Apple Watch updates continue to bring more concerning and unusual developments. Only a day after the ban preventing Apple from directly selling its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches took effect, a rather unfavorable consequence of the ban has surfaced, as reported by Bloomberg.

The Ban on Apple Watch is Also Affecting Repairs
The Ban on Apple Watch is Also Affecting Repairs

The Ban on Apple Watch is Also Affecting Repairs

In straightforward terms, any Apple Watch dating back to the 2020 Series 6 that is no longer under its one-year warranty cannot undergo repairs by Apple during the duration of this ban.

During the 14-day return period, exchanging a new Apple Watch for a different model is not allowed either. This situation adds an extra layer of complexity and inconvenience for Apple Watch owners, although it’s worth noting that the new models can still be purchased from retailers like Best Buy.

Apple’s Response Amid Ban Uncertainty

As per Bloomberg, Apple employees are instructed to inform customers that they will be notified once they receive approval to resume hardware fixes, which include screen replacements for damaged devices. In the interim, Apple will continue to offer software-focused support, such as reinstalling the operating system.

If you’re not up to date, Apple currently faces restrictions in selling its own watches due to a patent dispute with health tech company Masimo regarding the blood oxygen-sensing technology present in newer Apple Watches. The Biden administration has the potential to intervene and assist Apple by reviewing the legal decision made by the International Trade Commission, but this must be done by December 25.

As the likelihood of this happening grows uncertain, it might be advisable to postpone any Apple Watch purchases for the time being.

Unintended Consequences

The recent ban on Apple Watch, which extends beyond limiting direct sales of certain models, is now casting a shadow over the repair ecosystem for these popular wearables. This ban, notably impacting the Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches, has unveiled an unexpected consequence—one that affects users seeking repairs for Apple Watches dating back to the 2020 Series 6 and beyond.

One significant ramification of this ban is that any Apple Watch that has surpassed its one-year warranty, spanning from the Series 6 onwards, is currently ineligible for repairs by Apple. This development adds a layer of complexity and frustration for Apple Watch owners who may encounter technical issues or require fixes beyond the initial warranty period.

Even the usual recourse within the 14-day return period, where users might consider exchanging a new Apple Watch for a different model, has been curtailed. This prohibition on model swaps during the return window contributes to the inconvenience faced by Apple Watch enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note that despite these challenges, the new Apple Watch models remain accessible through alternative channels such as Best Buy.

Navigating Uncertainty

According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple’s staff members are navigating this situation by informing customers that they will receive notification once the green light is given to resume hardware fixes, including the replacement of broken screens. In the interim, Apple is continuing to provide support on the software front, focusing on solutions like reinstalling the operating system.

The genesis of this predicament lies in a patent dispute with health tech company Masimo. It revolves around blood oxygen-sensing technology present in the newer Apple Watch models. The complex legal landscape, compounded by the involvement of the International Trade Commission, places a significant timeline constraint on potential interventions by the Biden administration.



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