The Apple Watch news keeps getting worse and weirder.
Just a day after a ban on direct sales from Apple of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches went into effect, a somewhat nasty side consequence of the ban has come to light, courtesy of Bloomberg. Put simply, any Apple Watch going back to 2020’s Series 6 that is out of its one-year warranty cannot be repaired by Apple as long as this ban is happening.
Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Apple Watch Ultra 2: What are the differences?
You also can’t swap a new Apple Watch for another model within the 14-day return period, either. It’s all very weird and inconvenient for Apple Watch owners, with the caveat that you can still buy the new ones at stores like Best Buy.
According to Bloomberg, Apple staff members are supposed to tell customers they’ll let them know when they get the green light to perform hardware fixes again, including replacements for broken screens. In the meantime, Apple will keep providing software-oriented support — things like reinstalling the OS.
In case you haven’t been following along, Apple can’t sell its own watches right now because of a patent dispute with health tech company Masimo over blood oxygen-sensing technology that exists in the newer Apple Watches. The Biden administration can technically step in and help Apple out by reviewing the legal decision from the International Trade Commission, but that would need to be done by Dec. 25.
That’s looking increasingly unlikely, so maybe it’s best to hold off on that Apple Watch purchase for now.