Apple Watch Ultra has exposed screws, but still a difficult repair

Posted:
in Apple Watch
The repair mavens at iFixit have torn down an Apple Watch Ultra, and despite access screws, the screen alone makes it a tough repair.

Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra


The repair company has a video on YouTube explaining the process, and may publish a blog post later detailing the teardown. The screen looks challenging to repair, with the test model breaking even under the professional hands of iFixit.

The Apple Watch Ultra is the company's solution for users in extreme conditions. The new Apple Watch features a rugged, titanium design with a 49mm display, Action Button, dual-band GPS, and more.






This Apple Watch model has exposed screws on the back of the case, marking the first time Apple has done so with its Apple Watch series. But, because of the screen, the watch as a whole remains a difficult repair.

There is a gasket underneath the display that iFixit says behaves like glue. It was destroyed upon removal of the Watch's back plate, which means an official repair by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider may be needed to keep this part intact. During the course of the teardown, a gasket crucial to the device's water resistance was broken.

With that gasket intact, the Apple Watch is compliant with EN13319, which is an internationally recognized standard for dive computers and gauges. It works to a maximum depth of 130 feet or 40 meters. Without it, it has no resistance at all.

Other components, such as the Taptic Engine and battery, require the screen to be removed beforehand.

The teardown also confirmed Apple Watch Ultra specifications. It has a battery of 2.1 watt-hours, which is 60% bigger than the Apple Watch Series 8 at 1.19 watt-hours.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Thought regarding usefulness of apps such as 
    firechat and Bridgefy? Honest question 
     
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Please AppleInsider, check your maths! If the battery on the Series 8 is 1.19Wh and the Ultra has 2.1Wh it is an increase of (2.1-1.19)/1.19 hence 76%! Not 60% 😉 However, the Series 8 is 60% smaller than the Ultra (because then you do (2.1-1.19)/2.1. Basic maths.
    If you are not convinced, imagine a Series 9 that is 1.5Wh and a new Ultra that is 3Wh, then without calculating you know the new Ultra is 100% bigger than the Series 9, and you calculate it that way: (3-1.5)/1.5=100% whereas the Series 9 is (3-1.5)/3=50% smaller than the new Ultra.
    Hope that was clear ☺️
    appleinsideruserAlex_VAlex1Ncornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    thttht Posts: 4,639member
    I hate these video “teardowns”. I only perceive their snark as being idiotic.

    They had even less views of the components than the M2 MBA device. At least with the photos, I can more easily look at the components. With the videos, it’s a lot of pausing on a fleeting instance of a component. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Whoops posted on wrong article- but why is posting comments not available on the emergency kit article?!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    I wasn't planning on replacing my AW w/ an AWU, but seeing one in person at the Apple Store left me impressed. While large, I find it more pleasant in person than I expected to. The titanium finish is warm and appealing. The screen is of course large and enjoyable. It is tempting...
    cornchipAlex_VronnwilliamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,183member
    Once again, iFixit, fuck you!
    thtwilliamlondonps10405cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    I wasn't planning on replacing my AW w/ an AWU, but seeing one in person at the Apple Store left me impressed. While large, I find it more pleasant in person than I expected to. The titanium finish is warm and appealing. The screen is of course large and enjoyable. It is tempting...
    Ditto. It's large, but not as large as I was expecting, And it's surprisingly light for its size.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    "an official repair by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider"

    I've had two battery replacements on Apple Watches, and a screen repair on an iPad, all done under AppleCare+, and each time, Apple just swapped them out for new units. Guessing that's what would happen if you needed service on this one, too.
    cornchipronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Whoda thought that a waterproof watch good for pretty deep diving would be so protected by seals, that you shouldn't mess with?
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    thttht Posts: 4,639member
    JP234 said:
    "an official repair by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider"

    I've had two battery replacements on Apple Watches, and a screen repair on an iPad, all done under AppleCare+, and each time, Apple just swapped them out for new units. Guessing that's what would happen if you needed service on this one, too.
    Yes, very likely. Water resistance is a tricky feature to guarantee. Unsaid in a lot of the water resistance ad copy is that it is dependent on the aging of the gaskets. As soon as a product is assembled and is qualified for sale, its water resistance starts to degrade. Perhaps not measurable in the first couple of years, but water resistance in all these "water proof" products will degrade because the gaskets harden, deteriorate and whatnot with time.

    I'd take a swap out of a device any day, well at least to an un-opened, un-repaired replacement device than something that has been opened and repaired.

    It's a bit like an auto repair. I've never had an auto repair return it to its from the factory state. Never. Bumper replacements never have a perfect fit. Exhaust repairs never get the vehicle back to the from the factory sound. There is always subtle misalignments in bolts and parts. Cleanliness of say a battery replacement is never as good as it is from the original factory state. The glass windshield just doesn't have the same hydrophobic properties.
    dewmeAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,551member
    tht said:
    JP234 said:
    "an official repair by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider"

    I've had two battery replacements on Apple Watches, and a screen repair on an iPad, all done under AppleCare+, and each time, Apple just swapped them out for new units. Guessing that's what would happen if you needed service on this one, too.
    Yes, very likely. Water resistance is a tricky feature to guarantee. Unsaid in a lot of the water resistance ad copy is that it is dependent on the aging of the gaskets. As soon as a product is assembled and is qualified for sale, its water resistance starts to degrade. Perhaps not measurable in the first couple of years, but water resistance in all these "water proof" products will degrade because the gaskets harden, deteriorate and whatnot with time.

    I'd take a swap out of a device any day, well at least to an un-opened, un-repaired replacement device than something that has been opened and repaired.

    It's a bit like an auto repair. I've never had an auto repair return it to its from the factory state. Never. Bumper replacements never have a perfect fit. Exhaust repairs never get the vehicle back to the from the factory sound. There is always subtle misalignments in bolts and parts. Cleanliness of say a battery replacement is never as good as it is from the original factory state. The glass windshield just doesn't have the same hydrophobic properties.
    I concur. I wouldn't submit any waterproof or even dustproof watch to anything less than a factory authorized service provider. A swap out would be a great option.

    Does the Apple Watch use a cut gasket, gasket maker, or combination? If Apple uses a gasket maker ("form-a-gasket" style sealant) or a combination cut gasket plus sealant you would fully expect that the gaskets would be ruined or seriously degraded during disassembly regardless of who's doing the repair.

    Even if Apple uses cut gaskets I would absolutely replace the gaskets with new ones whenever the device is opened at a gasketed junction regardless of what the old gasket looks like. 
    edited September 27 Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    thttht Posts: 4,639member
    dewme said:
    tht said:
    JP234 said:
    "an official repair by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider"

    I've had two battery replacements on Apple Watches, and a screen repair on an iPad, all done under AppleCare+, and each time, Apple just swapped them out for new units. Guessing that's what would happen if you needed service on this one, too.
    Yes, very likely. Water resistance is a tricky feature to guarantee. Unsaid in a lot of the water resistance ad copy is that it is dependent on the aging of the gaskets. As soon as a product is assembled and is qualified for sale, its water resistance starts to degrade. Perhaps not measurable in the first couple of years, but water resistance in all these "water proof" products will degrade because the gaskets harden, deteriorate and whatnot with time.

    I'd take a swap out of a device any day, well at least to an un-opened, un-repaired replacement device than something that has been opened and repaired.

    It's a bit like an auto repair. I've never had an auto repair return it to its from the factory state. Never. Bumper replacements never have a perfect fit. Exhaust repairs never get the vehicle back to the from the factory sound. There is always subtle misalignments in bolts and parts. Cleanliness of say a battery replacement is never as good as it is from the original factory state. The glass windshield just doesn't have the same hydrophobic properties.
    I concur. I wouldn't submit any waterproof or even dustproof watch to anything less than a factory authorized service provider. A swap out would be a great option.

    Does the Apple Watch use a cut gasket, gasket maker, or combination? If Apple uses a gasket maker ("form-a-gasket" style sealant) or a combination cut gasket plus sealant you would fully expect that the gaskets would be ruined or seriously degraded during disassembly regardless of who's doing the repair.

    Even if Apple uses cut gaskets I would absolutely replace the gaskets with new ones whenever the device is opened at a gasketed junction regardless of what the old gasket looks like. 
    It’s hard to tell from the iFixit video. They would rather “editorialize” than actually show you the components in their recent videos. The gasket on the sensor side looks non-adhesive. The gasket on the display side has to be adhesive. So perhaps they are using both types of style of gasket. 

    Either way, opening it on either side destroys the gasket. For 100m depth, the surfaces have to actually be clean, and I wouldn’t trust a 3rd party repair to preserve its water resistance whatsoever.  The same goes for the phones. 

    There needs to be custom tooling to properly apply the gaskets to its factory state. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,007member
    Appleish said:
    Whoda thought that a waterproof watch good for pretty deep diving would be so protected by seals, that you shouldn't mess with?
    Dedicated dive computers require servicing every few years as stated by the manufacturer in order to maintain the water resistance.  Those seals will go bad eventually, and will degrade even faster if one dives a lot.  It’s inevitable.

    if Apple does not have that option, or makes it extremely difficult for 3rd party dive shops then this will discourage many serious divers I think.
    muthuk_vanalingam
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