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 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

kalafalas Avatar
34 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
34 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
34 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
34 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
34 months ago
Seems like something we could see used for a portless iPhone too.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
34 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)