Apple Watch software update renders many devices inoperable

At a time when it would prefer everyone to focus on its new iPads and Mac Minis, Apple has had to withdraw an Apple Watch update after various owners reported that the software caused their watches to stop working.

The issue has apparently baffled the company’s repair personnel, and owners certainly can’t fix it themselves. Several claim that they have been asked to send in their devices for repair.

The angry owners report that after the update, their watches are frozen with only the Apple logo appearing on the screen. The owner of a new Series 4 watch claims that he was told that it would take as long as a week for repair staff to decide whether it can be repaired or should be replaced.

Apple Watch owner Chris Ball, who lives in Belfast, said that Apple sent him this message: “Even if you went to an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider, we’d need to ship the Watch to a repair depot.”

He is understandably frustrated and told the BBC that his device was “completely useless” at the moment.

Social media abounds with posts from angry Apple Watch owners. Someone called @remon2008 tweeted the following: “Be ashamed @AppleSupport for the real bad service! Brand new Apple Watch Series 4 Nike+ broken due to update 5.1 and no replacement or whatsoever. At least 2 weeks for sending it to a repair center.”

It’s not unusual for device manufacturers to release updates that cause problems – both Microsoft and Google know how that feels. It is, however, not common that owners have to physically send back their devices after an update.

Apple issued a statement claiming that a “small number” of Apple Watch owners were affected, and asked them to contact AppleCare for a solution.

The firm added that it was working to fix the problem with an upcoming update.

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