I believe that the Apple Watch internals will be upgradable in the future

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by saintforlife, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. saintforlife, Oct 10, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014

    saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    If they make the Apple Watch Edition $1K or $5K or something expensive like that, I think all of the internals will likely be replaceable/upgradeable. Watches that expensive generally last a lifetime. In the case of smartwatches, that means the hardware will be upgraded many times. I believe the S1 will be upgradeable for about $200. They bragged about how it was a complete computer on a single chip. Not a System on a Chip, but an entire computer.

  2. IJBrekke macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Beach, CA
    It would make a lot of sense from a consumer perspective and I would love to see it. Unfortunately every other Apple product on sale today is moving away from being upgradeable...the Watch would be the sole exception, meaning it's not likely. Those that want to make a fashion statement by spending thousands of dollars on a watch will still do so, even if they only wear it for a year or two.
  3. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    You know a new iPhone can cost $950 don't you.

    And there will be a new iPhone to replace the current model next year.

    Why would you think the Watch would be any different?
  4. rorschach macrumors 68020


    Jul 27, 2003
    No way. Never gonna happen.

    People spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on clothes and jewelry -- every single season. $5K once a year for a watch is a drop in the bucket for the target demographic of the Edition.

    If it really does cost upwards of $5,000 then anyone worrying about the price is not the target audience.
  5. jason.siegel macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2011
    Upgradeable parts means less money for Apple. I really don't think that's going to happen.
  6. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    While I don't necessarily disagree I will play devil's advocate.

    Could be Apple sees that a $1000 Watch and $5000 Edition with limited (battery/S chip) life span would not sell in large numbers. Most high end customers would just buy the Sport as a 'disposable'. By offering a once a year $300 S chip/battery/service (These customers are used to this) Apple would see a HUGE increase in high end Watch/Edition sales and make a high margin on the yearly service/update. Thereby hooking high end watch costumers into the Apple ecosystem and buying new Watch and Edition models (plus iPhones/iPads and even converting some to Macs) every 2 to 6 years down the road.
  7. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I know what you are trying to say, but boy it's dam depressing if you feel Apple won't or can't be able to improve the physical design/shape of their 1st watch for up to 6 years.

    And for the record I still don't think we will see a £5000 price tag as Apple is a tech company and would be ripped apart for selling at such a markup.

    If it's a $350 device, or say throw in the ceramic bits, and take it to $550, which it would not be as it's not that much, so we just have the gold to add on.

    Whilst a jewelry company can get away with it.

    When iFix it strip one apart and show it's a $550 device, and do the maths on the gold weight, and lets give it a $1000 clear cost for the gold.

    If it were to sell for $5000 that would be $3500 pure apple tax and nothing else, and they'd get ripped to shreds in the press and media for charging for a clear $3500 of profit.

    Again, this does not happen with a rolex say as they are seen a different items that may last 100+ years, but a quick paced tech company under strip down and price up the bits scrutiny, I can't see even Apple having the guts to risk that.
  8. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Didn't say and don't believe it will be design stagnate. High end costumers will want to collect the new styles too. You are always trying to project your middle class pragmatism into the luxury brand market. Do you really believe costumers care that there is NOT $34,000 worth of leather in a Gucci purse or $3000 worth of cloth in an Armani suite?
  9. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    You guys do realize that by making it upgradable, it has to be thicker to accommodate the interfaces for whatever needs to be upgradable? The thinner ti gets, the less upgradable it can get.

    There is no way Apple is going to do this because it needs to be thin as possible.
  10. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    No, but the main reason they are paying that money is for exclusivity.
    Not to have the exact same item as 30 million other people including school kids are wearing apart from the case is a different colour.

    If apple made it a different design or made the internals different or created a higher tier of product then I'd go along with this thought more.

    As I said before, it would be like everyone even kids, tens of millions perhaps having the same Rolex watch. Same face, same internals, same build quality, exactly the same watch apart from most had a lovely stainless steel or satin black body, and some had a gold body. I don't thing the people you talk about would want that Rolex either. They'd want something more special and exclusive.

    And again, apple is not a high end quality fashion brand, it's a upper end general consumer brand selling the same thing in massive bulk quantities to millions of consumers, doing it very well, and making big money.

    Any iten they make will be torn apart, scanned over, priced up, and criticised worldwide the moment it ships, which is why at the moment I don't think they will charge a lot more than the real cost if the material differences.

    The only reason they would, and let's pluck a 10,000 price tag would be for publicity and marketing reasons, so that us low mortals see people on tv as mostly the only ones with a gold one, but that would be very small quantities, and apple are showing these on their web site for normal consumers to look at and perhaps consider.

    The gold will of course be more expensive and I'm sure mst people won't consider the gold worth it, but I do think apple wish more people to buy and show off their new gold one than would happen with some if these wild price points.

    If fir no other reason that people know how fast this tech has changed in other products and v1 may not be the model to invest heavily in.
  11. Allograft macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    It's a nice idea, but I think that Apple is gonna say that their products hold value extremely well and so sell yours to upgrade to the next model...believe me, I wish that they'd be upgradable also
  12. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    So do I but look at all the complaints across Apple forums about Apple's deliberate decision to STOP you upgrading almost all of it's products.

    Pretty much year by year on every product they make it less upgradable so they can make more profit.

    The latest one being the new slower, non upgradable Mac Mini.

    The take a product a user CAN upgrade later on, if their needs change or if prices of those items come down, and solder and glue it down so you can't.

    So generally now an Apple customer has 3 options:

    1: Buy the device they NEED TODAY, then after some time like to upgrade something for price/needs reasons, they cannot upgrade so just suffer with what they have.

    2: But the device they NEED TODAY, then decide later they need something better, Sell what they have and buy another higher spec from Apple.

    3: Give Apple more money TODAY for a spec higher than they need, to future proof themselves as they know they will never be able to upgrade it in the future as Apple has made this impossible.

    Either way, and Apple fan or not, this is a horrid and anti-consumer business practice that we all know if being done deliberately.

    In a watch, I could actually forgive them, as its a tiny device and generally not something a consumer every changes.

    But it certainly not Apple's current business practice, in fact it utterly goes against their business practice.
    You either pay THEIR VERY HIGH price for more than you need NOW, or you are stuck with it, have to ditch it, and buy another one from Apple later.

    This would be forgivable if making things non upgradable made the price fall like a stone.
  13. goldnose macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2014
  14. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I would like to add, and I have said this a number of times.

    I can see a business model for Apple where it sold something, like a gold watch for way way WAY over any realistic value level, say it cost Apple $1000 and they sold it for $5000 to 'Make it very special'

    Then, to make this a viable purchase, and keep people in the media from switching brands as other makes come out.
    Apple did either a free or minimal cost swap out when a new model is announced.

    This would make sense in that, like now, many will only spend money like that for something that will last many many years, and, likewise, you will keep THOSE people, the ones that will be SEEN sticking with the brand.

    You could easily put that model together, and, as it would be comparatively small numbers would be manageable.

    You don't ever want millions of $350 watch owners running back to Apple stores, with their watches in all different states of repair, from immaculate to those who have bashed it around in general heavy day to day use, all wanting their one upgraded, that would be a nightmare in every sense.

    I still honestly think Apple wants to SHOCK the old school watch makers, and one great way of doing that it by pricing something at the level it should be. At tech prices, not at fashion prices.

    If you price yourself up at the same level as them, well then you have lost a plus point you could of had.

    Gold won't be cheap, it never is, but I do think Apple want to see more than just a handful buy and wear the gold, so I still feel, perhaps I'm wrong, Apple will want to design the amount of gold down to a minimum, whilst still being credible so that it can be a realistic price point.

    We'll see :)
  15. mtmac macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    I am one that believes the upgradeability of the ss and gold models will be what makes them take off for generation one. This is the reason they have designed so many elegant bands, they know you'll find one you like, and they expect you to wear it for a long time. This is what will differentiate the apple watch from all other current smartwatches.

    For the folks that have stated Apple has never upgraded their other products, Apple also has never designed a wearable. They have never offered hundreds of optional combinations on a device, but with this one they have done that with generation one. They've hired several high profile people from the fashion industry. So this product is full of firsts for Apple. They have obviously spent as much time or more on the design and all the bands than the computer it houses. There's a reason they never call it a smartwatch.

    Apple would take a lot of flak for selling $5k gold watches that last a couple of years. They would be labeled as elitists catering to the 1%. Apple is about mass marketing, and a $350 non-upgradeable sport, a $1k upgradeable ss, and $5k upgradeable gold with $300 upgrades are all directly aimed at their current market.

    Everyone who has seen this in person has remarked how refined this product is. From the exquisite bands to the refined digital crown. That level of detail isn't addressed in a product designed to be thrown away after a few years.

    Apple will come out with new watch models over the years, but they will continue to support this and future generations. Later upgrades will likely have new sensors that don't stick out as far as this, so even this model will likely become thinner with a future chip. You can see how this is a clamshell design, with a hole out the rear for the sensors. It will be incredibly easy to upgrade; another reason for you to visit an Apple store ad spend more money.
  16. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Upgradability & Swapping. I think the last two posts of Piggie and mtmac laid out legitimate case for both camp. and I think we all agree that Apple would not leave people who buys hi-end model with old technology.
    That said I, for now, am on the upgradability camp. Strangely I don't think :apple:Watch design, or even the screen property, will change for a few generations (as someone who used to wear watch, the thickness of :apple:Watch 1st generation didn't bother me). So I think upgradability can be done. This coupled with how the S1 was designed as a computer on a chip and only high-end models can be upgraded I think it's not a difficult strategy to implement (there will be no millions to upgrade).
  17. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    If it were going to be upgradable -- even just the top end gold ones -- Apple would have said so in their keynote.

    They didn't.
  18. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Apple give very few details and specifications at the event. So drawing a definitive conclusion based on what Apple didn't say or what little Apple did say about the aWatch is unreasonable. There is even a possibility that Apple has not fully decided which route and is still debating the options.
  19. vvswarup macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2010
    I don't think the watch internals will be upgradeable. That doesn't fit Apple's MO. Also, the Watch appears to have been manufactured to some tight tolerances. A device manufactured to those kinds of tight tolerances is unlikely to be designed for repeated assembly and disassembly.

    In theory though, one should be able to simply break apart the watch and sell the bezel. An 18K solid gold bezel should fetch a pretty penny.
  20. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Many watches are accessed using a crystal lift. Using a proprietary crystal lift would almost certainly be the way to access the aWatch even if it's not upgradable.
  21. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012

    "On most Apple Watch models, the display is laminated to a machined and polished single crystal of sapphire. ... On watches in the Sport collection, protection is provided by strengthened Ion-X glass."

    The word "laminated" suggests that the crystal and the display can't be separated non-destructively.

    This isn't like a mechanical watch, where the movement is barely connected to the case. The crown is the only connection between the outside and the mechanical movement. The guts of the Apple Watch are connected to the display, touchscreen, sensors, digital crown, and battery/inductive charging system. That's a lot of stuff to connect together in a tiny space, while still allowing for repeated assembly and disassembly.

    Far easier to just glue it together permanently. Replace the whole watch.
  22. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    If Apple uses this method the OLED would come off with the crystal and connected by a ribbon cable like the iPhone/iPad.
  23. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010

    Apple continues it's path, over the years, working it's way thru every product it makes to deliberatly design it to be less and less user servicable, and less and less user upgradable.

    Sealing covers, soldering in components that used to be in a socket, gluing things down that used to be screwed, so that even professional disassembles pretty much have to break it to get inside.

    Meanwhile, over the rainbow comes the easy up-gradable watch.

    Riiiiiiight :D
  24. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    But those products aren't nearly as expensive as Watch Edition will most likely be.i suspect Apple will do something here. No way will they expect someone to spend $5K every two years on a new watch. Unless they're expecting the upgrade cycle to be much longer than that.
  25. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Well, if it WAS $5000 which I don't think it will be as people are fantasizing here over OMG GOLD, then yes, one could see perhaps a pay some money and trade it in for the new model type of option "IF" anything was priced up to that level.

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