Batteries are the bane of mobile device makers—companies have to ensure that battery life is sufficient, and just as importantly, are well constructed and won't die prematurely or, even worse, overheat and catch on fire and explode. Hey, it happens. As it goes, Apple is currently dealing with a battery life issue on some of its Apple Watch devices, and is offering free repairs to customers who are experiencing swollen batteries.
The bulging battery issue is affecting some Apple Watch Series 2 devices. In some cases, a defective battery is preventing the Apple Watch from powering on, and in other instances customers are complaining about their timepieces expanding, with a swollen battery pushing against the chassis.
"Apple has determined that under certain conditions, some Apple Watch Series 2 devices may not power on or they may experience an expanded battery," states an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers, according to MacRumors. "Apple will service eligible devices free of charge."
The document also states that "Apple will authorize coverage for eligible devices for three years after the original date of purchase." Coverage is also apparently limited to the 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 models, including the Sport Edition, Hermès, and Nike+ SKUs.
This is a bit different than the temporarily discounted battery replacement program that Apple put into effect for some of its iPhone devices. In this case, a visual inspection will determine if there is an actual mechanical defect, and if so, Apple will replace the battery for free. In other words, customers can't just request a battery swap if nothing is actually wrong with their Apple Watch Series 2.
Apple released the Apple Watch Series 2 in September of 2016, so the oldest models at this point are around 19 months old. If you own one and think the battery is defective, head over to Apple's Support page to schedule a repair.