Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,698
16,884


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.jpeg
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.

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

kalafalas

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2008
388
1,179
California
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.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
12,138
6,210
Portless through this is certainly possible, though these cables are going to be more expensive and harder or impossible to use with other phones for data transfer, unless 60Ghz works similarly with 2.4Ghz licensing wise.

Would apple introduce a new set of proprietary solutions to replace the current proprietary solution that is lightning for data transfer and recharge? Seems possible to me.
 

MrRom92

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2021
10
9
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.
 

Crowbot

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2018
681
2,499
NYC
The photo is of an AW3. I was wondering about that round hole to the left of the ID number.
 

BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
1,489
8,702
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.
 

Piplodocus

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2008
289
129
Hopefully, a 60GHz link would be standards based so the other end would not be expensive to add. (more dongles!)
The 60 GHz protocol may be somewhat standardised, but just like magsafe, I doubt the cable is.

I'm just not convinced if this is the direction stuff is (should be) going. My Bluetooth headphones have gone flat listening to music my iPad 10 mins ago. So I want to plug them in wired instead. I don't have a dongle here. I've also only just asked a question in the iPad accessories forum as I can't find a 3.5mm + power adapter that still works when power is disconnected, so need 2 dongles if I'm on the go and may need to charge at the same time, or might be on the move and can't charge simultaneously. Not having dedicated audio out ports is enough of a pain in the ass already. Thankfully I'm still using an iPhone 6S too, so I'm just plugging my headphones in that til I go home and can then charge them later!

So how are they gonna do a wired headphone out with no ports? All the iPad / iPhone music apps are completely unusable with wireless audio as the added latency is horrendous. Any of those synths or production tools are straight up unplayable and they'd have destroyed a whole music ecosystem. At least with one or other of my adapters I can currently get low latency audio out for about £10. There's not gonna be a 60 GHz to 3.5mm adapter that's as low latency, and it's DEFINITELY not gonna be about $10 so I can have a few in multiple places.

Then my amazing iPhone pocket computer would be reduced to only being useful for "mindless scrolling" and not the creativity Tim Cook was bemoaning is all too often the case. I guess that'd be the end of iPhone Garageband too.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Faj

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
7,770
13,373
This is what the EU market version of the iPhone will look like if they demand USB-C. Apple will simply delete Lightning and charge through MagSafe. Consumers will have to buy an Apple charger so it’s an even better deal for Apple.
 
  • Like
Reactions: haruhiko

california_kid

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2016
320
440
San Francisco
Well obviously Apple wasn't too happy that folks found the original super secret diagnostic port so they probably spent 2 years figuring out how to hide again. Duh
 

Eorlas

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2010
1,010
1,640
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.

this is one major reason why i dont think they'll go portless on the iphone any time soon. apple lossless & hifi lossless was *just* added this year. if they go portless even within the next 5 years, they don't have any ground to stand on when promoting new features, since we wont know how long they'll actually be relevant for.

the watches going portless is fairly meaningless to everyone who ever owned a watch, except for the few device hackers who managed to interface with it. i think they'll get clever and find a way to leverage the new wireless communication tech. for the rest of us, no hardwire connecting to the watch didn't matter since apple didnt provide us a way to do anything with that data port, sadly including just being able to restore it ourselves.

portless on the iphone and their other devices really just doesnt make sense from a number of standpoints, and lossless is absolutely one of them. they did, after all, have to spend time and resources to get almost the entire AM library into lossless & hi fi lossless. silly to bother with something like that, advertise it, and then just get rid of the means to use it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zeezun

Coleco

macrumors member
Dec 15, 2003
46
87
Perhaps someday Apple Watch will get RF-based wireless charging. Sit at your desk and charge. No need to remove it for recharging.
 

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2019
420
1,697
It’d be cool for this tech to be added to MagSafe, but I hope it doesn’t replace the physical port.
 

yegon

macrumors 68040
Oct 20, 2007
3,200
1,561
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.
Agreed. If/when it happens, I will buy the best of the previous generation and wing it for 3 or 4 years in the hope sanity prevails/technology dramatically improves.
 

dz5b609

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2019
323
776
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.
Just data transfer over Wifi. Who the **** even uses the cable on an iPhone anymore for anything other than charging?
 

kalafalas

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2008
388
1,179
California
Just data transfer over Wifi. Who the **** even uses the cable on an iPhone anymore for anything other than charging?
I often dump my SD card into my phone when out with my camera. I would love for this to happen at USB3 speeds, and Wi-Fi transfer on my camera is a joke. I am also often shooting and camping/traveling in hot, sunny, outdoor, environments where wireless charging would be very slow, if work at all, and a cable is necessary. Especially if charging from a battery pack, where you don’t want to loose anything to wireless inefficiency. Also fast charging is way more convenient than magsafe for me, being able to fully charge my phone during a quick shower and get ready is essential. It would be a huge inconvenience to ditch the port for me, to the point of not wanting the device, and I’m sure for many others as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: soundtribe109

kalafalas

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2008
388
1,179
California
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.
It’s an early application of the technology, but being used for user-facing data transfer needs is very viable.

on the flipside, it would be EPIC for airdrop. Just don’t kill the port!
 

Tagbert

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2011
835
893
Seattle
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.
They just need gold-plated wireless connection to enjoy the full depth of lossless music. MonsterPods.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Rychiar
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.