Skip to main content

Apple Watch Series 7 is the first to do away with the hidden diagnostic port

Apple Watch Series 7 Lifestyle Golf
Apple Watch Series 7 Lifestyle Golf (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple Watch Series 7 is the first not to sport a hidden diagnostic port.
  • The port was only used by Apple, but it isn't present on the new Apple Watch.
  • It's like the new 60.5GHz wireless module will pick up the slack.

The new Apple Watch Series 7 goes on sale tomorrow but while there are plenty of changes, one of them is something Apple hasn't mentioned. With this year's model, it's done away with the hidden diagnostic port that normally gives Apple's technicians a way to figure out what's going on inside. With Apple Watch Series 7, there's no port to speak of.

While the change makes little-to-no difference to the vast majority of people, it will mean that Apple needs to change the way it handles Apple Watch repairs. And as MacRumors reports, it's likely the switch to the mysterious 60.5GHz wireless data module that will save the day.

Apple Watch Series 3 Diagnostic Port

Apple Watch Series 3 Diagnostic Port (Image credit: MacRumors)

The lack of a diagnostic port on Apple Watch Series 7 models likely explains the addition of the 60.5GHz wireless data transfer module. FCC filings indicated that the module is only activated when the Apple Watch is placed on a proprietary magnetic dock with a corresponding 60.5GHz module, so it sounds like Apple might use this dock to perform diagnostics or restore watchOS wirelessly on Series 7 models.

Diagnostic port or not, many Apple Watch issues result in a device swap, rather than a repair. It'll be interesting to see if the move to the new wireless standard will open the door to the rumored port-free iPhone in the future, too.

The new wearable will be the best Apple Watch you can buy when it hits stores tomorrow, with pre-orders already winging their way to buyers.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • That's interesting. I had a data watch decades ago that was uploadable via laying it on a cradle. It was wireless data transfer via a system much like how Apple watches are charged. I could upload calendar, notes, phone numbers and such from my Radio Shack Color Computer from the data port that normally was used to connect a tape recorder for backup.