This specific problem only applies to the Series 6 model released in 2020. It also appears to be exclusive to the smaller 40mm version — and only those units manufactured during the six months before the Apple Watch Series 7 made its debut.
Apple has introduced a free repair programme for Apple Watch consumers who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves looking at a blank screen. A tiny number of 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 devices have a problem that could cause the screen to go blank permanently, according to a recent Apple Support article. The screen on a small fraction of 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 devices may go blank permanently, according to Apple. Between April 2021 and September 2021, affected devices were produced.
If you have one of these Apple Watch Series 6 models, you can check your serial number on Apple’s website to see if it’s eligible for free repairs. You can find the serial number in the Settings app on your Apple Watch, but that’s not helpful if your screen has gone blank, so here’s how to do it from your iPhone:
How to Get Your Apple Watch’s Blank Screen Serviced
Note that Apple doesn’t appear to be offering these repairs proactively — the document says it’s only for folks whose “Apple Series 6 has exhibited this issue.”
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In other words, even if your serial number shows your device is eligible for a repair, Apple likely won’t service it if the screen is working fine. Of course, you’ll still want to keep an eye on it if the serial number shows it’s affected, as it may simply be a matter of time before the screen goes blank.
Since every Apple Watch comes with a one-year warranty, most affected models are likely still under warranty for at least another couple of months. However, this repair program covers this specific repair for two years from the original retail sale, although it doesn’t otherwise extend the standard warranty — only the screen issue is covered.
Of course, customers who purchased AppleCare+ for their Apple Watch Series 6 will already have two years of coverage, including two incidents of accidental damage from handling. So, this repair program is primarily aimed at those who relied on the standard warranty coverage instead.
If your Apple Watch is affected and eligible, you can make an appointment with the Genius Bar at your local Apple Retail Store or take it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider if you have one nearby. Otherwise, you can contact Apple Support to arrange to send it in for service.