Apple Watch is Nearly Impossible to Repair
If you buy an expensive Swiss watch you expect to have if for years with periodic cleaning and occasional repairs. However, if you spring for the new Apple Watch don’t plan on keeping it for a long time, no matter how much you pay for it.
Apple’s first smartwatch may look like a timepiece on the outside but on the inside are the same sort of parts that power the iPhone, iPad and other touchpad devices. Since most of us realize that we’ll be replacing those smartphones and tablets when a newer, faster model comes out it’s no surprise that the Apple Watch has the same sort of built-in obsolescence.
The guys at iFixit are pros at taking apart Apple products and putting them back together so what they have to say about the Apple Watch is of interest to anyone planning to buy the device this year. iFixit gave the Apple Watch a score of 5/10 on its repairability scale because it is practically impossible to remove the working parts.
Here’s the verdict: “Once inside, coaxing the battery out is a cinch, but the overall device construction limits further repair options … We hoped to confirm rumors of upgradable internals — but had no such luck. The S1 SiP [internal System in Package] is encased in resin, and is further held in place by a mess of glue and soldered ribbon connectors. In short, basic component replacements look nearly impossible.”
That means that when your Apple Watch dies, it’s really, really dead. What kind of life expectancy will this pricey smartwatch have? About the same as that of a smartphone—two or three years. If you spend $350 for the Sport model that works out to about $115 per year but for the $17,000 version of the Edition you’ll be spending about nine grand each year for the privilege of sporting Apple’s latest product on your wrist.