In our review of the Apple Watch Series 7, Dieter Bohn called it the best smartwatch while noting the new model’s changes as “smaller iterations” year-over-year than we previously expected. Even those small improvements required some reengineering. To appreciate those efforts, the folks from iFixit teamed up with former Apple engineers to investigate the new parts and get some insight into how the changes came to be.
Ex-Apple product designer Tobias is now with Instrumental. He points out in a video that by looking at the back of the display, we can see that for the Series 7, Apple removed a ribbon cable, combining touch and display signals into one cable instead of two. That helped shrink the device’s bezels, but Tobias says in a video that he’s “fairly certain” the complexity of that change and how it rippled through the supply chain is the reason why this Watch was slightly delayed.
A more surprising moment is when they found out that the Apple Watch Series 6 battery fits in, and works with, the newer model.
Of course, another element of the teardown is what’s not inside the new Apple Watch — an old diagnostic port. Since the earliest versions, it had been hiding inside the watch’s wristband groove, but now Apple has replaced it with wireless technology. Is this a hint at an iPhone without ports? We can’t tell yet, but the teardown will show you how everything came together to make the device less susceptible to cracking, better at resisting dust and water, and just that tiny bit better than the Series 6.