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Several Apple Watch SE owners have reported overheating issues

Published Oct 20th, 2020 6:05PM EDT
Apple Watch SE overheating
Image: Apple

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  • Some Apple Watch SE owners have encountered overheating issues that have left marks on their arms.
  • Six Apple Watch SE overheating incidents have been reported in South Korea to date, but all of them resulted in a burnt patch in the same corner of the device.
  • In the hours since the original report, MacRumors reported on another incident taking place in the US.

On September 15th, Apple hosted its first fall hardware reveal event of the season, primarily to announce the Apple Watch Series 6 as well as the more affordable Apple Watch SE. Reviews were positive for both devices, but a highly concerning issue with the SE is being reported. According to a Reddit post, there have been six confirmed instances of Apple Watch SE models overheating between October 10th and October 19th, all in South Korea.

As the Reddit post explains, the reported incidents all occurred with 40mm Apple Watch SE models, including Silver, Space Gray, and Nike. Everyone who was allegedly affected by this overheating issue points to the same spot, which an iFixit teardown reveals is above the display connectors and between the Taptic Engine and digital crown. Notably, the spot that appears to be overheating on the Apple Watch SE is not near the battery.

All six of these cases have commonalities, including the time between acquiring the Apple Watch and the first sign of overheating. For example, one person bought an Apple Watch Nike SE on the night of October 16th, set it up, used it for a few hours, and then put it on the charger and went to bed. The next morning, that user put it back on, but 75-80 minutes later felt a sudden cold sensation followed by heat on their wrist. They removed the watch and found that their wrist had been burned. Apple reportedly said it would have a response by Thursday.

There are a number of caveats that you should be aware of, the most important of which is that we can’t confirm any of these cases beyond the photos and accounts provided in the Reddit post. It’s also worth noting that all of the cases were relegated to one region, which suggests it might have just been a bad batch.

That said, MacRumors covered the story on Monday and later issued an update noting that they had heard about a similar issue from an Apple Watch SE owner in the US. The user noticed that his watch began heating up while it was charging and had a burnt patch in the same corner as all of the other reports. This could be all we ever hear about the problem, but the Apple Watch SE has only been out for the month, so we’ll keep an eye out for more incidents.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.