What the Apple Watch 'swelling battery' problem is all about

This is swell
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Apple today sent a note to its retail employees informing them that limited warranties for the first-gen Apple Watch are being extended by a year. Why? Well, one of the hardware issues with the original Apple Watch is a battery one, but you might not have heard about it.

Some first-generation Apple Watch users have seen their battery swell, slowly expanding until it becomes so big that it pushes the display away from the the rest of the Watch. Apple Support tells us that when the display separates from the Watch case, connections can be damaged and the display will become less responsive. In fact, a less responsive display may be one of the first symptoms of battery swelling. While it's not immediately dangerous, you should take in your Watch to Apple as soon as possible if the battery is expanding.

Read this: 12 easy ways to improve Apple Watch battery life

It's unclear how many people are affected, but reports have cropped up several times on Apple's support forums and Reddit. We've also asked Apple to clarify how wide of an issue this is.

It's certainly enough of a problem that Apple has extended the warranty for first-gen Apple Watches. Typically, Apple offers a complimentary 1-year limited warranty on its products. However, when it comes to expanding batteries you get a second year. You just take it into an Apple Store and they'll repair it for you.

So why's Apple extending the warranty now? The first-gen Apple Watch just celebrated its second birthday, which would have ended warranty coverage for swelling batteries for a whole lot of early adopters. Most of the complaints seem to have been logged in the past six months, indicating this problem may have a higher chance of occurring the older a first-gen Apple Watch gets.

What the Apple Watch 'swelling battery' problem is all about

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Husain Sumra


Husain joined Wareable in 2017 as a member of our San Fransisco based team. Husain is a movies expert, and runs his own blog, and contributes to MacRumors.

He has spent hours in the world of virtual reality, getting eyes on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR. 

At Wareable, Husain's role is to investigate, report and write features and news about the wearable industry – from smartwatches and fitness trackers to health devices, virtual reality, augmented reality and more.

He writes buyers guides, how-to content, hardware reviews and more.

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