Apple Watch Receives Glorious Teardown Treatment, Obtains Middling Repairability Score
What's one of the most expensive wearable on the market today? It's the Apple Watch, of course, which starts at $349 and goes all the way up to $17,000. An AppleCare+ protection plan and you could be looking at up to an additional $1,500. Or you could take repairs into your own hands. Just how feasible is the DIY option? The answer depends on the problem.
The tech surgeons at iFixIt got their mitts on the Apple Watch Sport and proceeded to lay it out on their operating table for an emergency dissection. Things started off easy enough -- with a press of a button on the back of the watch, the blue band was able to slide right off. So, if you're looking to swap bands on a whim, go on with your bad self.
Getting into the watch face itself is a bit more challenging. There are no screws, so the teardown team used its iOpener tool (looks like a guitar pick) to pry their way around the gadget. It's not easy to remove the display, as there are cables trapped under a springy bracket, but with a little patience, it's certainly manageable.
Ready for the good news? Once inside, it's fairly easy to remove the 205 mAh battery. There's just a light layer of adhesive holding it down, and with a little prying, you can negotiate it right out there. That's a good thing, especially if you've opted against an AppleCar+ protection plan. These things don't last forever, and after spending several hundred dollars on a unit, it's nice to know that a dead battery can be replaced without too much effort.
That's where the good news stops. Other types of repairs can get pretty involved, and you'll want to have a pair of tweezers handy, along with a screwdriver that can remove tiny tri-wing screws. Even then, iFixIt notes that "removing any other components is essentially impossible" as the peripheral cables are soldered to the back of the device.
In the end, the Apple Watch received a 5 out of 10 Repairability Score.