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Apple begins a screen replacement program for aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3

Series 3 with Cellular
Series 3 with Cellular

Drawing of potential Apple Watch cracks

What you need to know

  • Apple says it affects some aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 wearables.
  • It only happens in "very rare circumstances".
  • Owners can have their screen replaced for free.

Apple has announced the latest in a growing list of repair programs, this time relating to the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3. Some aluminum models may suffer from cracked screens, according to a new support document (opens in new tab). Apple says that the issue only crops up "under very rare circumstances" with a crack beginning on one side of the screen and then working its way around it.

Those who have an affected Apple Watch can have their screen replaced without charge by visiting an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP). Owners can also reach out to Apple for a mail-in repair if that is more convenient, too.

Apple outlines all of the affected models in its support document, but we can save you a click – all aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 wearables are eligible for a free screen repair, including the Nike+ variants. No other models are impacted by this issue, according to Apple. If you're unsure which Apple Watch you own, Apple has you covered (opens in new tab).

The new screen replacement program covers all of the affected Apple Watches for three years from the first retail sale of the device, or one year from the start date of the program, whichever is longer. Again, no other models are eligible for free repair.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Nice of them to do this a year and a half after I had to replace my 2 with a 3 for this exact problem.
  • BINGO! For me it has only been a few months, but I was perfectly happy with my 2 before this problem happened and I had to replace it with a 3, rather than pay the $199 that Apple wanted for repair.