Apple has admitted, in an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, that some owners of latest-generation Apple Watches are reporting a serious screen problem described as “false touches.”
“Some customers may report their Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is experiencing false touches on their display,” the memo explains. Some customers have also referred to these issues, which cause the screen to jump around or behave erratically without any user input, as “ghost touches.” They can even cause the watch to start a phone call without permission, or prevent the user from entering the passcode to unlock. (If that’s a problem for you, bear in mind that you can instruct the watch to unlock when you use Face ID on a paired iPhone.)
Apple says it is aware of and currently investigating the issue. It’s unknown at this point whether this will result in a watchOS software fix, although that is hinted at by the company’s advice that customers keep their software up to date. We also have no timeframe for when a fix will be released, or an explanation offered.
In the meantime, technicians are instructed not to attempt a repair on affected devices, but simply to tell customers to try a force-restart and, if that doesn’t work, await further information when the investigation concludes.
The Series 9 and Ultra 2 have experienced something of a cursed existence since launching in fall 2023. Display problems causing flickering, pulses, or pink flashing complications were reported last October, before both models were temporarily banned from sale due to an unrelated legal issue.