Customers looking for a repair or replacement of their LTE-enabled stainless steel Series 3 watch, get a brand new Series 4 series of stainless steel with mobile connection.
According to an internal note to Apple employees and authorized service providers, obtained by 9to5Mac, this policy change applies globally because it is currently experiencing low inventory on Series 3 models.
From the 9to5Mac report:
The change means that customers are looking for repair or replacement for their Apple Watch Series 3 stainless steel (GPS + Cellular) model will instead be met with Apple Watch Series 4 stainless steel (GPS + Cellular) stock as replacement due to limitations on the older model.
Comparison: Is Apple Se Series 4 worth the extra $ 120?
Inventory Losses and Apple Watch Series 4 Replacements apply to both Apple Stores and Authorized Service Providers globally, but Apple does not provide any indication as to whether the limitations and upgrades in Series 4 will be temporary.
The Cupertino firm has previously replaced units in need of repair or replacement with newer models due to delivery restrictions.
As MacRumors noted, Apple said in January that some series 0 and 1 watches would qualify for Series 2 replacements. It has also recently informed the staff that some series 2 repairs will have series 3 replacements temporarily due to missing parts.
"As usual, it is not guaranteed that anywhere will recognize the existence of this internal policy, especially given that there is no final end date," the publication noted.
Be persistent, would be my advice, do not accept no answer and let service technicians know that you know this is the latest Apple policy. Apple has not officially acknowledged this change and it gives absolutely no indication of whether the partial limitations and the series 4 upgrades will be temporary, so remember too.