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Retail Apple Watches Still Have a Hidden Diagnostic Port [Updated]

The Apple Watch became available for pre-orders on Friday as well as for try-on appointments in Apple retail stores around the world.

One MacRumors reader, Louis, was able to slip off the bottom band during his Apple Watch try-on appointment to discover that the hidden diagnostic port on early models still remains in the retail versions.

The presence of the diagnostic port was first reported in March by TechCrunch with speculation that it could eventually open up the market for "smart" band accessories that can interface with the Apple Watch, itself. Apple, however, has made no such promises and doesn't even acknowledge the presence of the port in any official documentation. Louis also reports the retail staff had no training on the use of the port.

Thanks Louis

Update: John Gruber notes that his review unit has the port, but it is covered up:

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Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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57 months ago
This could only be in the store versions, so they can load the demo software.
Rating: 39 Votes
57 months ago
How do we know they're using retail models?
Rating: 37 Votes
57 months ago
It's coming, the Mophie :apple:Watch battery strap. :rolleyes:
Rating: 20 Votes
57 months ago

John Gruber tweeted that his port was covered up.

Neat. The photo gives the model number: A1554.

Just checked the FCC. No entry for the Apple Watch yet.


Although... there are already entries for two magnetic charging cables: A1570 and A1598.


That's a bit different looking. Can't tell if that's a side view, top view or what it is. It also has an unusually small version above the larger more readable one.

The "Apple Confidential" is unusual for this document type, too. This is extra odd.

And why is it called a "BRACELET" ? Is it for store displays? For consumer use? Any guesses?
Rating: 18 Votes
57 months ago
They will be as useful as those old USB ports that were on Apple TVs.

Hope I'm wrong.
Rating: 13 Votes
57 months ago

I think it's safe to assume they are. Apple doesn't put anything on the floor that isn't final product.

Like the 32GB iPhone 6 models that are on the floor for demos?
Rating: 12 Votes
57 months ago
I read if you shove a paperclip into the right hole it actually activates the dormant cellular chip for use without an iPhone.

Apparently the wrong hole result in a horrible death (the exact method was unclear...)


I took the band off yesterday to check for the port too. I looked at the band too. It was hard to tell if when they connect it makes the watch function, which in turn, would lock out 3rd party bands.

We shall all find out soon enough.

It looks like a port that requires pins, which doesn't seem to be the design of the bands (the small metal piece on the bands just looks like a securing/fastening mechanism).

However, if that port does tie into the charging system, that would be potentially very cool for band augmented power. :cool:
Rating: 11 Votes
57 months ago
I work at an apple store, the genius from our store that designed the new apple watch demo smart signs told us they'd most likely (not confirmed) use that port as a diagnostics check for genius bar appointments about the watch. Even if it's covered on the retail model they might still use it for diagnostics.

Also the watches that we have on display might all be on a loop, but they were fully functioning models- the demo is just a video that's we selected from the list of videos on the device when we were installing all of the new visuals the night of the 9th.
Rating: 10 Votes
57 months ago

I think it's safe to assume they are. Apple doesn't put anything on the floor that isn't final product.

Yes, they do.

Many display iPhones have been custom build ones with no SIM tray.
Rating: 8 Votes
57 months ago

One of the reps at my local Apple Store told me there was gonna be a way to plug your watch into your computer to sync music. Maybe that's what this is for?

The rep was kidding or not very intelligent. All music will by synced wirelessly, 100% guaranteed.
Rating: 8 Votes

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