Apple’s new top model among computer watches has been disassembled. You can see the larger battery – and the still rather miserable repairability.
The repair service provider iFixIt has made a teardown of the Apple Watch Ultra. The result is partly surprising, partly not: When disassembling, you can see, among other things, the new, much larger battery – but also the fact that Apple’s service staff and users continue to make it extremely difficult to repair the computer clock, even though the Ultra is significantly larger has become.
Apple’s new watch monster
The $1,000 Apple Watch Ultra is the largest smartwatch Apple has launched to date. Instead of 45 mm as in the Series 7 and 8, the case now measures 49 mm. For the first time, there are four accessible pentalobe screws on the back, which make it easier to open. However, anyone who hoped that this would make disassembly easier would be wrong: the water resistance is destroyed the first time you try to open it, like that iFixIt teardown shows.
In addition, it is extremely difficult to reach parts such as the integrated Taptic Engine (vibration motor) or even just the battery in the housing, since you have to remove the display to do so. There are also many small cables and plugs. At least it’s worth taking a look at the battery: it now has 542 mAh, an increase of a whopping 76 percent compared to the battery in the Series 8 (308 mAh). According to Apple, the Ultra lasts up to 36 hours, while regular models usually have to be refueled after a day – especially if you use them for sleep and sports tracking. The integrated loudspeaker, which also serves as a siren, is also more massive – it allows telephone calls to be heard more clearly.
Crafts only for professionals
Apple’s computer clocks already had a reputation for being almost impossible to repair. Due to its sheer size, the Ultra is a bit different, but first new methods have to be developed to organize disassembly and reassembly. It is unclear how Apple itself is doing this – internal repair instructions for service staff have not yet leaked out.
“Everything is packed so tightly behind the screws,” says iFixIt. But it is not enough to remove the screws. After that, the glue of the water resistance must first be opened, which serves as a seal and is immediately destroyed as a result. It is also extremely difficult to remove the enlarged screen, which is now flat instead of rounded – it has a titanium lip that is supposed to make the watch more durable.