Apple Watch Series 7 gets rid of the hidden diagnostic port
If your Apple Watch gets bricked, repairing or reinstalling watchOS on it is tricky business. It doesn’t have a regular port that you can use to connect it to a Mac or Windows PC and install the firmware. Most models feature a hidden diagnostic port behind the bottom band slot, and only Apple Stores and Apple Authorized service providers have the tools required to use this port and diagnose or restore the Apple Watch. However, Apple seems to have gotten rid of that port on the Apple Watch Series 7, making repairs even more difficult for third-party repair providers.
As per MacRumors, Apple has removed the hidden diagnostic port from its latest smartwatches. Instead, the Series 7 features a new module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer. This module was first spotted in FCC filings last month, but Apple doesn’t mention anything about it on its website or in support documents. So it’s safe to assume it’s for internal use only.
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.
Apple may have switched to the wireless solution to improve the Apple Watches’ dust resistance. For the unaware, the Series 7 comes with an IP6X rating for dust resistance, unlike older models.
Although the new data transfer solution might be a valuable addition for making the Apple Watch Series 7 more durable, it makes third-party repairs even more complicated. So, if you accidentally manage to brick your Apple Watch Series 7, you’ll have no choice but to visit an Apple Authorized service provider. If you’re still interested in getting one for yourself, make sure you check out our roundup of the best Apple Watch Series 7 deals to save a few bucks on your purchase.