Image source: Apple

Customers team up to sue Apple over broken watch displays

A group of Apple Watch customers have joined forces to sue the Apple over broken watch displays. They claim the timepiece does not allow enough room to account for battery swelling which can be a health hazard.

A sore point with many Apple Watch users is battery life. It has not improved over the years and even the latest iteration needs to be charged every day. The problem is, there’s only so much room for a battery inside a case that is 10.7mm in depth.

The 45mm Series 7 manages to squeeze in a 1.189Wh (309 mAh) battery, which is a slight increase on the 1.17Wh battery of the 44mm Series 6. This didn’t increase battery life much, the added capacity mainly goes into supporting the brighter display.

Back in 2019, the Cupertino outfit admitted there is a flaw in certain types of Series 2 and 3 aluminium models that could cause the screen to crack. To rectify the issue, the company launched a free screen replacement program for affected users, as long as they are covered by the warranty. Out of warranty, there is a fee. Apple did not go into detail on what was causing the issue but the fact that they offer a warranty program implies this is not an isolated problem.

Class action lawsuit

Two years on, it seems some users are still experiencing screen cracking.

As first reported by Bloomberg, four Apple Watch users have filed a complaint, this week, in federal court in Oakland, California. They claim the Apple Watch does not allow enough room inside the case to account for battery swelling. This is something that occurs with faulty li-on batteries or defective internal components. Some of this is a byproduct of normal aging of li-ion batteries.

The class-action lawsuit claims the Apple Watch design is inherently unsafe, as battery swelling can cause the screen to crack, shatter or detach from the body, a defect that can cause injuries. Accompanying the paperwork is a photo showing a deep slash on the arm of one of the customers. This was allegedly caused when the screen on the customer’s Series 3 watch detached.

Aluminium models of Series 3 have displays made of Ion-X glass while stainless steel and titanium models have screens made of sapphire crystal glass. Both of these materials have very sharp edges on all four sides.

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We’re not sure if the problem is confined to older models of the watch. Having said that, the group is looking to represent other individuals with similar problems as long as they have a pre Series 7 model. Which implies the issue has been rectified on the latest version of the device.

This is not the first time a class action lawsuit was brought against Apple for this problem. The previous ones didn’t seem to go anywhere. The difference this time around is that instead of an individual, it is a group of customers that has filed the complaint.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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