Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over an alleged design flaw that appears to potentially affect every watch from the original up to the Series 6.
Swelling of the battery, which can cause the screen to break or detach, can expose razor-sharp edges and at least one of the class-action plaintiffs was severely cut while using the watch during a golfing session.
“The detached, shattered, or cracked screens are a material and unreasonably dangerous safety hazard,” the customers said in the complaint, filed Thursday in federal court in Oakland, California.
The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed by four Apple Watch customers. Included in the complaint is a photo of a deep slash on the arm of one of the customers, purportedly caused when her Series 3 Apple Watch screen detached.
Even worse, Apple apparently knew about the issues and has not issued any statement or warning to consumers, who presumably number in the millions.
According to For The People:
“Apple introduced a screen replacement program, but only for the Apple Watch Series 2 and 3, and only for a limited amount of time. According to Apple, “under very rare circumstances, a crack may form along the rounded edge of the screen in aluminum models.” Apple did not acknowledge the possible source of the defect. The program runs “for three years after the first retail sale of the unit or one year from the start date of this program, whichever is longer.”
The program was introduced in September 2019 and expires in September 2022. Apple will presumably no longer repair broken screens in Series 2 or Series 3 watches beyond that time. It also will not address broken screens in other series of Apple Watches under the screen replacement program, even though consumers have reported the same issue in the First Generation Watches, Series 1 – 6, and Series SE.
Apple may fix broken screens on newer devices that are still under warranty, but there is no guarantee that they actually will. Series 2 and 3 Apple Watches that do not meet the strict parameters of the screen replacement program also may not be repaired or replaced. Internet forums are replete with complaints from customers who say Apple refuses to cover screens damaged as a result of the defect. One issue raised is that, since the alleged defect is related to the design of the Apple Watch, replacing or repairing it could just be a temporary solution.”
The massive success of the Apple Watch has negatively affected many entry-level watch brands, however, it’s widely believed (according to numerous watch industry CEOs and experts Professional Watches has spoken with) that the Apple Watch is seen as a boon to sales at the higher price points of the traditional mechanical watch industry as it has made consumers more aware of wristwatches in general — which has boosted demand.
Considering that Apple knew about these problems early on, it seems like a huge mistake to not have corrected the design sooner, and while the Series 7 is presumably the version where Apple finally fixed the issue, all the past models could become a liability to the company.