Apple Watch Series 7 Lacks Hidden Diagnostic Port, Likely Uses Wireless Data Transfer Instead

Last month, FCC filings revealed that Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a new module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer. This module is not advertised on Apple's website and is likely for Apple's internal use only.

apple watch series 3 diagnostic port

The hidden diagnostic port on an Apple Watch Series 3

MacRumors has since confirmed with The Verge's Dieter Bohn and others that the Apple Watch Series 7 lacks a hidden diagnostic port that was located in the bottom band slot on all previous Apple Watch models. Apple used the port for diagnostic purposes when servicing an Apple Watch, such as to restore watchOS over a wired connection with a special tool.

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.

It's also worth noting that Series 7 models feature IP6X-rated dust resistance, so perhaps the diagnostic port's removal helped with that to some degree.

Apple Watch Series 7 models will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, October 15. Key features include larger displays with 41mm and 45mm case sizes, enhanced durability with IP6X-rated dust resistance, up to 33% faster charging with an included USB-C fast charging cable, and new aluminum colors.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

kalafalas Avatar
11 months ago
I’m an apple fanboy, and can usually look the other way/find reasoning for Apples BS they like to pull.

But if they make a portless iPhone, using short-range-wireless like this new tech in the watch for data transfer through MagSafe at usb 2 speeds, instead of just putting a stupid USB-C 3.1 port, that will be probably the first iPhone I’m not interested in getting at all. It’s just an over-engineered solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrRom92 Avatar
11 months ago
A portless iPhone would also mean there is no way to connect headphones. Unless they make some kind of detached wireless device that combines a DAC and headphone amp. That might actually be cool but it doesn’t seem like they can even make wireless headphones lossless, let alone something that has to drive a serious set of cans. No thanks.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UltimateSyn Avatar
11 months ago

It's also worth noting that Series 7 models feature IP6X-rated dust resistance, so perhaps the diagnostic port's removal helped with that to some degree.
That was my first thought, too.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProfessionalFan Avatar
11 months ago

It's also worth noting that Series 7 models feature IP6X-rated dust resistance, so perhaps the diagnostic port's removal helped with that to some degree.
This seems likely
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikethebigo Avatar
11 months ago
Seems like something we could see used for a portless iPhone too.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
11 months ago

I’m an apple fanboy, and can usually look the other way/find reasoning for Apples BS they like to pull.

But if they make a portless iPhone, using short-range-wireless like this new tech in the watch for data transfer through MagSafe at usb 2 speeds, instead of just putting a stupid USB-C 3.1 port, that will be probably the first iPhone I’m not interested in getting at all. It’s just an over-engineered solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
I'm not seeing how the removal of an Apple-proprietary diagnostic port on their watch has any relation to Apple removing their universal user-facing power/data port.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

Prosser: Apple Watch Series 7 to Ship in Mid-October

Thursday September 30, 2021 3:31 pm PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 7 will ship in mid-October with pre-orders to begin "as early as next week," claims leaker Jon Prosser, citing sources "familiar with the release." Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 7 at its September "California Streaming" event alongside the iPhone 13 models, but at the time, said the new Apple Watch would ship later in the fall. There has been no official...
Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

First Apple Watch Series 7 Orders Arriving to Customers in New Zealand and Australia

Thursday October 14, 2021 3:13 pm PDT by
It's Friday, October 15 in New Zealand and Australia, which means it's Apple Watch Series 7 launch day. Customers in that part of the world are always the first to get their hands on new devices due to time zone differences. Apple Watch Series 7 models are now beginning to arrive to customers who pre-ordered on Friday, October 8, and new Apple Watch owners are sharing photos on Instagram,...
series 7 vs series6 screen size

New Image Offers Clearer Look at Apple Watch Series 7 Screen Size Compared to Series 6

Thursday October 14, 2021 2:27 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 7 officially hits the shelves and starts arriving with customers worldwide tomorrow. While we have seen media reviews of the new watch, we've yet to see a clear real-world comparison to last year's Apple Watch Series 6 until now. Apple says the new Apple Watch Series 7 features a 20% larger screen than the Series 6, primarily thanks to reduced bezels that allow the...
Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

Deals: Take Up to $200 Off Cellular Apple Watch Series 7 Models

Thursday October 21, 2021 8:12 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a few offers from carriers on cellular models of the new Apple Watch Series 7, which just launched last week. Many of the initial deals on these Series 7 models are still around today, from carriers like AT&T and Verizon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which...
91mmobile apple watch series 1

Apple Watch Series 7 Major Redesign Revealed

Friday August 27, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A major redesign appears to be in store for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 models, based on recent reports. According to renders from 91mobiles that were reportedly obtained from supply chain sources, the Apple Watch Series 7 will offer a new design that mirrors the squared-off edges of the iPhone 12 lineup, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and 24-inch iMac. The Series 7 will also apparently be 1.7mm...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature Flat

Apple Watch Series 7 Production Will Reportedly Ramp Up at End of September, New MacBook Pros Expected Later in Fall

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
Following a report earlier this week from Nikkei Asia that claimed volume production of upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 models had been delayed due to manufacturing challenges, a new report has offered a more specific timeframe. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report, suppliers are scheduled to ramp up Apple Watch Series 7 production starting at the end of September. That...
apple watch dock 1

Proprietary Dock Apple Uses to Wirelessly Troubleshoot Apple Watch Series 7 Surfaces in Regulatory Database

Friday October 15, 2021 10:26 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 7 models lack a diagnostic port under the band, which means Apple has to use another means to troubleshoot and restore Apple Watches that come in for repair. Apple Watch Series 7 models are equipped with a module that enables 60.5GHz wireless data transfer as we discovered in FCC documents in September, with that data transfer capability designed to be used with a...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature Flat

When is the Apple Watch Series 7's Release Date?

Thursday September 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 7, the company's latest and most advanced smartwatch, at its September "California Streaming" event, revealing the long-awaited features of the new device. The Apple Watch Series 7 was announced alongside the iPhone 13 lineup, featuring a larger design, a bigger Retina display with slimmer display borders, improved durability, faster charging, new color ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Remains Silent About Plans to Detect Known CSAM Stored in iCloud Photos

Saturday August 13, 2022 1:52 pm PDT by
It has now been over a year since Apple announced plans for three new child safety features, including a system to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) images stored in iCloud Photos, an option to blur sexually explicit photos in the Messages app, and child exploitation resources for Siri. The latter two features are now available, but Apple remains silent about its plans for the CSAM...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...