Video Overview

Introduction

Time flies: it's been eight months since Apple announced its (digital) crowning achievement, the Apple Watch. Join us as we make time stand still by tearing down the Apple Watch—and see what makes it tick.

Update: We've got more Apple Watch teardown goodness! When you're done here, wind your way over to our X-ray teardown.

The good times never end at iFixit—and you can be a part of the fun by following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Apple Watch, use our service manual.

Image 1/1: Pressure-sensitive, flexible, touchscreen AMOLED Retina display
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the Apple Watch has arrived. But before we get down to the brass tacks, here's a quick overview of the tech specs:

    • Pressure-sensitive, flexible, touchscreen AMOLED Retina display

      • One model measuring 38 mm (vertically) with 272 x 340 pixels (290 ppi), the other model measuring 42 mm (vertically) with 312 x 390 pixels (302 ppi)

    • Custom-designed Apple S1 SiP (System in Package)

    • 8 GB onboard storage

    • NFC + Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0

    • Accelerometer + gyroscope + heart rate monitor + microphone + speaker

    • Watch OS

I actually got a notification for this teardown on my watch! Almost like it's brother watch was crying out for help...

Sean Titmarsh - Reply

Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground

Kevin Taylor -

Man, some months from now we will all laugh at this but right now almost everyone who pre-ordered their Apple Watch is crying at the sight of this.

Carlos Perea - Reply

The watch is OK, I guess, but the band is a winner!

lainelee - Reply

Going through the breakdown steps of the Apple watch, it appears to be a nice piece of kit. One question I may ask, would it get any new firmware updates and how will be done?

Taki59 - Reply

  • So ends the wait. The Apple Watch has arrived, and our first course of action is to unbox it.

  • While we'd hoped to find a golden ticket inside, we'll settle for the next best thing: the Apple Watch Sport, complete with its Sport Band, charging cradle, and power adapter.

  • A big thanks to MacFixit Australia, who let us use their digs in Melbourne for this teardown-down-under. They stock Mac and iPhone upgrades/accessories, and also carry our iFixit toolkits.

That settles it: I'm getting the blue band. I think it looks pretty slick (as does the packaging).

Casjen - Reply

I went with the blue band for mine. Can't wait to see it in person :)

John -

Image 1/3: Not sure how to fasten that fancy Sport Band? Have no fear—Apple included instructions right on the back of the band! Image 2/3: There's no need for pesky charging cables—the Apple Watch features MagSafe inductive charging technology, which allows it to magnetically attach to the charger. Apple also touts that it is a "...completely sealed system free of exposed contacts." Image 3/3: There's no need for pesky charging cables—the Apple Watch features MagSafe inductive charging technology, which allows it to magnetically attach to the charger. Apple also touts that it is a "...completely sealed system free of exposed contacts."
  • We were all set to disassemble the Apple Watch until we got distracted by a fancy graphic visualization. Oooh, pretty colors.

  • Not sure how to fasten that fancy Sport Band? Have no fear—Apple included instructions right on the back of the band!

  • There's no need for pesky charging cables—the Apple Watch features MagSafe inductive charging technology, which allows it to magnetically attach to the charger. Apple also touts that it is a "...completely sealed system free of exposed contacts."

Can you please post the exact measurements of the charger?

Thank you and blue skies!

Jerry Salinas - Reply

The charging cradle is 6.7 mm thick with a diameter of 28 mm.

Walter Galan -

Image 1/2: The specially designed heart rate sensor uses a combination of infrared and visible-light sensors to gauge your heart rate. Image 2/2: Unlike the Apple Watch Sport, the back cases of the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition feature a [http://www.precision-ceramics.com/3-reasons-apple-used-zirconia-ceramic-in-the-iwatch/|Zirconia ceramic|new_window=true] cover with sapphire lenses.
  • We turn our attention to the back of the case, where we find a composite cover with hard-coated, optical polymer lenses protecting a set of LEDs and photodiodes.

  • The specially designed heart rate sensor uses a combination of infrared and visible-light sensors to gauge your heart rate.

    • Unlike the Apple Watch Sport, the back cases of the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition feature a Zirconia ceramic cover with sapphire lenses.

  • Opposite the Digital Crown, we find the microphone and speaker ports.

I think the back piece on the Sport watch is composite, not ceramic

timothyarnold - Reply

Correct. According to footnote on Apple Watch site: "Sport models have a composite back with hard

coated optical polymer lenses."

http://www.apple.com/watch/technology/

The backs on the Watch and Edition collections are zirconia ceramic with sapphire crystal lenses

http://www.apple.com/watch/craftsmanship...

Ryan Mack -

Good catch. We've updated the teardown. Thanks!

Walter Galan -

Not an LCD, so no LCD connector.

Sam Davis - Reply

Sam - So does this mean it is an OLED screen if not LCD?

randallhlee -

..and the microphone is from?

Raul Piper - Reply

Image 1/3: Pressing this button on the back case releases a spring-loaded metal peg in the band, allowing it to slide right out. Image 2/3: If you're looking forward to swapping out bands, there's not much to it, physically. However, Apple would prefer that you only use bands [http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/22/apple-band-only-apple-watch-exchanges/|from the same collection|new_window=true]. No Link Bracelets on your Watch Sport, please. Image 3/3: The Sport Band is all plastic—or, more accurately, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastomer|elastomer|new_window=true]—with no metal watch band pins.
  • Before laying it out on the chopping block, we'll try something non-destructive: removing the band.

  • Pressing this button on the back case releases a spring-loaded metal peg in the band, allowing it to slide right out.

    • If you're looking forward to swapping out bands, there's not much to it, physically. However, Apple would prefer that you only use bands from the same collection. No Link Bracelets on your Watch Sport, please.

  • The Sport Band is all plastic—or, more accurately, elastomer—with no metal watch band pins.

  • Assembled in China!

Add Comment

Image 1/1: What is the door for? Where does it lead? We may never know...but it looks like the [http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/23/apple-watch-diagnostic-port-confirmed/|reported diagnostic port|new_window=true].
  • Hidden inside the Sport Band slot, we spot a mysterious cover—a door of sorts.

  • Taking a closer look at the side of the Apple Watch, we find the model number: A1553.

Could you show us the strapping mechanism for the band?

qiun - Reply

Is that model number text as misaligned with the port as it looks?

mward - Reply

  • Unfazed by the lack of external screws, we reattach the Sport Band for extra leverage and whip out an iOpener to negotiate our way into the belly of this beast.

  • Forgoing our traditional opening tools, we give this display all the force our Tech Knife can muster.

  • We move in with our opening pick to finish things off. Let's hope this doesn't get as messy as Apple's other flagship release.

What was actually holding the screen itself down? And can you show further disassembly of the screen?

tonyluciani - Reply

and there goes any water resistance... How would one even make their watch water resistant when replacing the screen? I guess it wouldn't be... even if I was told, *use this* glue/tape and it will be, I wouldn't trust it..

Will - Reply

Image 1/3: Disconnecting the display isn't easy, as the display cables are trapped under a springy bracket (not unlike the [guide|17383|Touch ID cable cover|stepid=52330|new_window=true] of the iPhone 5s). Image 2/3: Our teardown engineers are watching out for such tricks... but [http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/293/e/0/who_watches_the_watchmen_by_natestarke-d5icxo5.png|who watches the watchmen|new_window=true]? Image 3/3: Our teardown engineers are watching out for such tricks... but [http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/293/e/0/who_watches_the_watchmen_by_natestarke-d5icxo5.png|who watches the watchmen|new_window=true]?
  • We gingerly lift up the display, expecting a snaggle of cables—namely, the display and digitizer cables.

  • Disconnecting the display isn't easy, as the display cables are trapped under a springy bracket (not unlike the Touch ID cable cover of the iPhone 5s).

  • Our teardown engineers are watching out for such tricks... but who watches the watchmen?

Add Comment

Image 1/3: It looks like even the lowly Watch Sport gets a bit of glitzy gold. We expect that this is some kind of antenna, featuring Apple's [guide|39841|familiar gold treatment|stepid=89854|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: It looks like even the lowly Watch Sport gets a bit of glitzy gold. We expect that this is some kind of antenna, featuring Apple's [guide|39841|familiar gold treatment|stepid=89854|new_window=true]. Image 3/3: It looks like even the lowly Watch Sport gets a bit of glitzy gold. We expect that this is some kind of antenna, featuring Apple's [guide|39841|familiar gold treatment|stepid=89854|new_window=true].
  • Houston, we have separation. With the display panel removed, we quickly spy two highly-advertised Apple Watch features: the Taptic Engine and the Digital Crown.

  • It looks like even the lowly Watch Sport gets a bit of glitzy gold. We expect that this is some kind of antenna, featuring Apple's familiar gold treatment.

I think the question on everyone's mind is will that s1 chip be replaceable. Doesn't look easy to get to.

Arvin - Reply

Oh , unfortunately I could not find out where's Pressure sensor underneath the display.

It's another key topics of differentiator on Apple watch

neptune neptune - Reply

Image 1/2: On the right, a pocket watch mechanism, circa 1890. (At 125 years old, it doesn't look a day over 39.) On the left, a smartwatch from 2015. Image 2/2: Which of these will outlast the other?
  • With this first photo, we take a moment to compare the internals of the Apple Watch with that of a classic mechanical watch as old as time itself.

    • On the right, a pocket watch mechanism, circa 1890. (At 125 years old, it doesn't look a day over 39.) On the left, a smartwatch from 2015.

    • Which of these will outlast the other?

  • Although we're still dealing with a watch, this second photo makes it clear that the tools required for routine repairs have very much changed with the times.

    • You're already familiar with our friends on the left: opening pick, tweezer, driver, and tech knife.

    • On the right, the tool with the Mickey Mouse ears is none other than a pallet fork tool. To its immediate right, we've got a pin vise. Below that, a roller jewel shlacking tool...

    • ...and to its right, tweezers! Some things really don't change. (Though our resident watchmaker informs us that it's perhaps more accurately called "the lazy man's screw holder.")

I thought you were pulling another April Fool's joke when I saw this photo. :)

jrj - Reply

Interesting that you chose a tuning fork watch for a comparison device. Most of your readers might not be familiar with this fine timepiece. I would love to see a teardown on this one :).

scottlvance - Reply

The tuning fork timepiece mechanism is from an Accutron. If you google Accutron Spaceview you can see it in pictures. I have one of these watches, they look great!

Don Beckstein - Reply

Image 1/3: This wee 3.8 V, 0.78 Wh lithium-ion battery is the power behind the 38 mm Apple Watch. No gears here! Apple claims the 205 mAh battery should provide up to 18 hours of use (which translates to 6.5 hours of audio playback, 3 hours of talk time, or 72 hours of Power Reserve mode.) Image 2/3: According to Apple, the "battery performance claims are based on test results from the 38 mm Apple Watch. A 42 mm Apple Watch typically experiences longer battery life." Image 3/3: A 205 mAh battery seems miniscule in comparison to the 300 mAh batteries found in the [guide|28891|Moto 360|stepid=68745|new_window=true] and [guide|27038|Samsung Gear Live|stepid=66770|new_window=true]. Hopefully, Apple's Watch OS will help the battery stand the test of time and avoid the problems that initially [http://gizmodo.com/moto-360-hands-on-the-one-weve-been-waiting-for-proba-1630875506|plagued|new_window=true] the Moto 360.
  • A quick flick of a plastic opening tool is all it takes to dispatch the light adhesive securing the battery.

  • This wee 3.8 V, 0.78 Wh lithium-ion battery is the power behind the 38 mm Apple Watch. No gears here! Apple claims the 205 mAh battery should provide up to 18 hours of use (which translates to 6.5 hours of audio playback, 3 hours of talk time, or 72 hours of Power Reserve mode.)

    • According to Apple, the "battery performance claims are based on test results from the 38 mm Apple Watch. A 42 mm Apple Watch typically experiences longer battery life."

  • A 205 mAh battery seems miniscule in comparison to the 300 mAh batteries found in the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear Live. Hopefully, Apple's Watch OS will help the battery stand the test of time and avoid the problems that initially plagued the Moto 360.

Can we get the physical dimensions of the cell itself?

gary - Reply

It would be nice to know the weight as well.

mbeatty -

Any info on the battery connector used? i.e. part number?

pixbroker - Reply

the S1 disintegrates into conformal powder if you try to open the case...

Kevin Taylor - Reply

Is that a barcode beneath the "S1" designation?

Miroslav Djuric - Reply

Definitely looks like one. I'd venture a guess that it's not much different than barcodes/data matrices found on other processors, likely acting as an identifier of some sort (plate no., serial no., lot no., etc.).

kappanjoe -

I've seen triwing screws about that size before, in the old compact flash sized disk drives made by IBM (now Hitachi Global Storage). I want to do a teardown of mine, but I too will have to make my own tools to do so.

jrehwin - Reply

The screws appear to be MicroStix 3ULR and referenced here www.j-osp.com/en/products/neji.html. The micro screws are patented by OSG Japan. As jrehwin mentions, they first showed up in Hitachi and Seagate 1" hard disk drives then later in MS Zune player and gaming systems. Licensed to Unisteel Singapore. Source for licensed bit manufacturer is unknown.

Given the quantity of Apple watches to be produced and the volume of screws needed to meet that demand, the screws will have to be formed, not machined. To deliver torque, the slanted 3-lobe recess design works with minimal depth providing enough strength for adequate clamp load. The difficulty in making and forming the screws lies within the very thin head and depth of recess required. The blue material shown on one of the screw threads is a chemical patch. It works as an adhesive to prevent vibrational loosening in very short threads.

Henabel - Reply

Alternate screw recess designs are possible; 5-lobe like found on the iPhone, Torx Plus, Nacro, 00 or 000 Phillips, and MorTorq Super MTS-04 micro screw. Each design offers certain drive system strength capability but limited by head thickness and minimal thickness of the components being fastened together. Secondary function of the recess is to provide some level of tamper resistance as driver bits are not readily available.

Henabel - Reply

Here's the Tri-point Y000 Screwdriver driver: IF145-309-2 Tri-point Y000 Screwdriver (for Apple Watch and iPhone 7)

mayer - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Given the limited amount of space inside the Apple Watch, we find the microphone ribbon cable creatively ensnared between the inner and outer layers of the case.

You might find that the 'debug port' is intended _only_ to be used during factory programming/test. Makes sense to make the door a tight fit to protect terminals from water ingress. Removal solution might be to super-glue a tether to it and then pull it out. Would need a replacement door to re-fit afterwards.

To make a random guess it would be a JTAG port for programming flash, but protected with E-fuses once programming/testing is complete.

Overall this watch is an impressive piece of engineering, but I still don't think I'll be buying one.

Simon Wood - Reply

Image 1/3: The Taptic Engine is Apple's take on the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_actuator|linear actuator|new_window=true]. It creates motion in a straight line (as opposed to the circular motion of an electric motor), which in turn provides [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haptic_technology|haptic feedback|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: It makes sense that the Taptic Engine is attached to the speaker. When combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine is designed to output a unique motion. Image 3/3: It makes sense that the Taptic Engine is attached to the speaker. When combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine is designed to output a unique motion.
  • It's time to remove the Taptic Engine, which is attached at the hip to the speaker.

    • The Taptic Engine is Apple's take on the linear actuator. It creates motion in a straight line (as opposed to the circular motion of an electric motor), which in turn provides haptic feedback.

  • It makes sense that the Taptic Engine is attached to the speaker. When combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine is designed to output a unique motion.

Can you compare the Watch's Taptic Engine with the Macbook's?

brunobarcelos - Reply

What are the dimensions of the Taptic Engine, the battery and the interior space?

Perhaps we can figure out how much bigger a battery that the 42mm can have.

KDarling - Reply

Image 1/2: Apple's been touting Watch's [http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/03/09/apple-watchs-ipx7-water-resistance-good-for-washing-hands-but-not-for-swimming|IPX7 water-resistance rating|new_window=true]. These gaskets help, but rapid temperature changes will cause any metal to shrink or expand and can compromise the integrity of these seals. Image 2/2: For the spec geeks out there, IPX7 means that the Apple Watch can withstand up to 30 minutes of full submersion in up to 1 meter of water.
  • The speaker comes equipped with an O-ring for water resistance. Like everything else in this device, it's tiny.

    • Apple's been touting Watch's IPX7 water-resistance rating. These gaskets help, but rapid temperature changes will cause any metal to shrink or expand and can compromise the integrity of these seals.

    • For the spec geeks out there, IPX7 means that the Apple Watch can withstand up to 30 minutes of full submersion in up to 1 meter of water.

    • Apple doesn't recommend testing those limits, stating that you can "...wear and use Apple Watch during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging Apple Watch is not recommended."

Add Comment

Image 1/3: We're betting that this 'lil guy handles the Apple Watch's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Recent Apple patents suggest that part of the antenna assembly ''may'' be [https://www.google.com/patents/US20140285386?dq=inassignee:%22Apple,+Inc.%22+antenna&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Oc45VcyYC9W4ogSj94DQBA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBQ|integrated into the case|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: We're betting that this 'lil guy handles the Apple Watch's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Recent Apple patents suggest that part of the antenna assembly ''may'' be [https://www.google.com/patents/US20140285386?dq=inassignee:%22Apple,+Inc.%22+antenna&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Oc45VcyYC9W4ogSj94DQBA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBQ|integrated into the case|new_window=true]. Image 3/3: We're betting that this 'lil guy handles the Apple Watch's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Recent Apple patents suggest that part of the antenna assembly ''may'' be [https://www.google.com/patents/US20140285386?dq=inassignee:%22Apple,+Inc.%22+antenna&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Oc45VcyYC9W4ogSj94DQBA&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBQ|integrated into the case|new_window=true].
  • We carefully remove the antenna assembly, which is discreetly tucked into the recesses of the case.

    • We're betting that this 'lil guy handles the Apple Watch's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Recent Apple patents suggest that part of the antenna assembly may be integrated into the case.

I would daresay that discreetly is a more appropriate spelling

pmcgrane - Reply

Image 1/2: The little button even comes with a little button cover and gasket. Image 2/2: The little button even comes with a little button cover and gasket.
  • What is this? A phone for ants? Just like a miniature version of an iPhone, we find a button cable with a mechanical button.

    • The little button even comes with a little button cover and gasket.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Behind the tiny panel we find a set of contacts that align perfectly with the location of the hidden diagnostic port. Image 2/3: Not wanting to make [https://youtu.be/oB6NNbFHjCc?t=72|contact|new_window=true], we quickly dispatch this little connector. Image 3/3: Still unable to remove the diagnostic port door, we resort to pushing it free through the little holes on the inside of the case.
  • We quickly dispatch two very small Tri-wing screws holding a tiny panel to the watch case.

  • Behind the tiny panel we find a set of contacts that align perfectly with the location of the hidden diagnostic port.

  • Not wanting to make contact, we quickly dispatch this little connector.

  • Still unable to remove the diagnostic port door, we resort to pushing it free through the little holes on the inside of the case.

    • There's got to be an easier way to access the door than disassembling the whole watch—but we're not privy to Apple's secrets.

My guess is that the diagnostic port cover isn't meant to be removed. On the manufacturing line they probably have a test station that runs a series of functional tests on the device and once those are complete, they close up the port. It looks like a tight fit so the force of insertion locks it in place.

Rick Mellor - Reply

Is the cover of the diagnostic port cover plastic or metal? How is it secured to the case?

Ameen Amanat - Reply

A small hole can be seen on the door. Isn't it screw-threaded? If so, it will be able to open by sinking a screw longer than the thickness of the door.

Motosuke - Reply

Is any part of the diagnostics port magnetic (like magsafe)? Is there any way to tell if power, rather than just data, is able to transfer though the port? If so, it would definitely point towards future smart bands. Sure, a smart band could have it's own battery supply that doesn't connect with the watch, preventing it from leaching precious battery life, but then you'd have to charge two separate devices (band and watch) every day. If power could transfer through the diagnostics port, then not only could you have battery packs in smart bands to help power the watch itself, but also you'd only have to charge one device each night (the watch could then recharge the bands).

kdavis - Reply

You don't need to unscrew to remove the tiny panel. It just comes out using a sharp tool like an artists knife. Unscrewing is only necessary to remove the contacts ribbon.

seaniepie - Reply

Image 1/3: Cue the [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwxYiVXYyVs|epic rising of the monolith|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: We can feel the power as we slowly peel the ~~future of humanity~~ S1 out of the case. Image 3/3: The back of the S1 isn't as pretty as the front—with ribbon cables running to every peripheral and gobs of adhesive gripping it in place, the chip leaves a nasty mess in its wake.
  • We remove the Digital Crown bracket, the final obstacle keeping us from the S1 SiP.

  • We can feel the power as we slowly peel the future of humanity S1 out of the case.

  • The back of the S1 isn't as pretty as the front—with ribbon cables running to every peripheral and gobs of adhesive gripping it in place, the chip leaves a nasty mess in its wake.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Despite [http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/15/03/5319245/expert-why-apple-watch-will-be-apples-most-upgradeable-p|rumors|new_window=true] (and hopes) of an upgradable product, the difficulty of removing the S1 alone casts serious doubt on the idea of simply swapping out the internals. Image 2/3: Unfortunately, our first look is obstructed—that S1-emblazoned silver cap isn't a cap at all. It's a solid block of plasticky resin, hiding treasures deep within. Image 3/3: '''Update''': [http://www.chipworks.com/en/technical-competitive-analysis/resources/blog/inside-the-apple-watch-technical-teardown/|Chipworks|new_window=true] has identified this small IC as the STMicroelectronics C451 gyroscope + accelerometer.
  • Pulling this mess out is a destructive procedure, but after ripping out some soldered connectors we get our first real look at the S1.

    • Despite rumors (and hopes) of an upgradable product, the difficulty of removing the S1 alone casts serious doubt on the idea of simply swapping out the internals.

  • Unfortunately, our first look is obstructed—that S1-emblazoned silver cap isn't a cap at all. It's a solid block of plasticky resin, hiding treasures deep within.

  • Update: Chipworks has identified this small IC as the STMicroelectronics C451 gyroscope + accelerometer.

Yikes - I think you'll need Chipworks assistance getting inside that chunk. Probably have to boil it in Novec, followed by acid for several hours to reach the meat'n taters...

Sonar Tech - Reply

The wireless charging antenna inside the base is certainly compact and cute. Looks like it's not a continuous wire loop, but a U-shape printed "coil". Is this Qi-based, or something proprietary like I'd expect?

Sonar Tech - Reply

I've seen that the Moto 360 does in fact charge using the Apple Watch Charging Cable, leading me to believe that it could possibly be considered "Qi-based."

http://watchaware.com/post/11095/apple-w...

Nathan Larsen -

What are the dimensions of the S1?

What is its size as compared to other smartwatch circuit boards?

KDarling - Reply

Image 1/2: Analog Devices [http://www.analog.com/media/en/Other/Support/Customer-Service/ADI_Export_and_Import_Classifications.pdf|AD7166|new_window=true] ARM Cortex M3-based Touchscreen Controller Image 2/2: Analysts have [http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/09/lg-wins-contract-for-amoled-apple-watch-displays.html|anticipated|new_window=true] that [http://www.idigitaltimes.com/apple-watch-specs-leak-lg-oled-display-confirmed-90-certainty-industry-expert-417824|LG would be the supplier|new_window=true] of the Apple Watch's Retina display, and our best guess is that Watch is sporting a [http://news.oled-display.net/lg-display-explain-plastic-oled/|Plastic AMOLED|new_window=true] display made by LG.
  • After removing the S1, we go back to the future, and the display panel, to find a lonesome chip:

    • Analog Devices AD7166 ARM Cortex M3-based Touchscreen Controller

  • Analysts have anticipated that LG would be the supplier of the Apple Watch's Retina display, and our best guess is that Watch is sporting a Plastic AMOLED display made by LG.

  • With some careful tweezing, we pull up what appears to be an ambient light sensor.

    • We're betting that this is one of Apple's new solar cell ambient light sensors. This allows for the sensor to be behind the display panel, as opposed to the traditional surface-mounted design seen on most smartphones and tablets.

I'm looking forward to a firm confirmation whether this "flexible Retina" display is LCD or OLED technology. If the latter is confirmed as rumored, it's a great validation of OLED technology, namely Universal Display Corporation and all players in that supply chain.

--EDIT-- I now see in step one "Pressure-sensitive, flexible, touchscreen AMOLED Retina display.". Cheers! Thanks ifixit!!

randallhlee - Reply

Great validation of OLED technology? Not really. Just because it's a good fit for one purpose, doesnt make it the right solution for a different task, like a cellphone display for example.

OLED and LED screens both have their individual advantages and disadvantages.

Victor Szulc -

Wait, how is there an ambient light sensor behind/in the screen?! ...or am I mistaken?

mbrandonlee - Reply

I was wondering the same thing! I assume that's exactly what it is, since the watch will put the screen to sleep if you cover it with your hand, but I would also assume that the AMOLED display would interfere with the sensor.

kappanjoe -

It appears to be some new Apple tech that allows for light to be sensed through the display, using a special type of solar cell. Pretty cool right?

Geoff Wacker -

I'm missing the reveal of the touch force sensor.

Maybe this isn't a ALS but some kind of low distance sensor that measures indirectly the force the user presses at the display.

knochi77 - Reply

Well spotted. There indeed is no mention of the force pressure sensor, the black strip around the chassis rim under the glass.

seaniepie -

это просто датчик освещенности чтобы не делать отдельную дырку как на смартфонах . очень технологично

Sasha Pups - Reply

экономия места и дизайн

Sasha Pups - Reply

Image 1/3: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_encoder|Rotary encoders|new_window=true] work by translating the angular position of a shaft into analog or digital code that computers can understand. Image 2/3: The encoder branches off of the button cable, along with the single push button and the diagnostic port contacts. Image 3/3: All these peripherals leave us wondering whether Apple has any intention of offering an upgrade program for the Apple Watch. Stripping out the internals will be difficult and time-consuming—not the sort of thing your local Genius is equipped to handle, but we suppose Apple could provide a mail-order option.
  • The Digital Crown seems to have an encoder system, like the Nest Thermostat, to read the spinning of the dial.

    • Rotary encoders work by translating the angular position of a shaft into analog or digital code that computers can understand.

  • The encoder branches off of the button cable, along with the single push button and the diagnostic port contacts.

  • All these peripherals leave us wondering whether Apple has any intention of offering an upgrade program for the Apple Watch. Stripping out the internals will be difficult and time-consuming—not the sort of thing your local Genius is equipped to handle, but we suppose Apple could provide a mail-order option.

I guess it must be magnetic encoding

chavezdavid - Reply

Image 1/2: Apple's heart rate monitor is actually a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plethysmograph|plethysmograph|new_window=true]—it  [https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666|looks and acts like a pulse oximeter|new_window=true], but Apple isn’t claiming it can measure your blood oxygen level. Why? ''Beats us''. Image 2/2: Our best guesses involve [http://appletoolbox.com/2014/06/apple-fda-discussed-fda-regulations-regarding-possible-new-mobile-products-sensors-glucometer/|FDA|new_window=true] [http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm341718.htm|regulations|new_window=true].
  • Scraping the bottom of the barrel watch case, we find the pulse-pounding sensor action. And lenses.

  • Apple's heart rate monitor is actually a plethysmograph—it looks and acts like a pulse oximeter, but Apple isn’t claiming it can measure your blood oxygen level. Why? Beats us.

  • Nestled in the case we also find a magnet, to help seat the watch on its inductive charger. Electrifying.

  • We find a familiar looking coil of wire resting in the composite cover. We're guessing this is the inductive charging coil.

  • Update: Chipworks has identified the Texas Instruments OPA2376 Precision, low noise, low quiescent current Op Amp as part of the sensor package.

In order to measure Blood oxygen levels you need a Red and an IR LED. Can you confirm that the watch has this? Just because its a plethysmograph doesn't mean it can measure oxygen levels. It needs the different wavelengths to determine the ratio of oxygenated hemoglobin, and non oxygenated. All I have ever seen is green LEDs, which are not capable of doing this. What makes you think its capable of being a Oximeter.

Sean Hodgins - Reply

Hopefully they will enable O2 measurement in a future software update. The Apple Watch does have IR diodes in addition to the green ones. From <https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666>:

----------------

How Apple Watch measures your heart rate.

The heart rate sensor in Apple Watch uses what is known as photoplethysmography. This technology, while difficult to pronounce, is based on a very simple fact: Blood is red because it reflects red light and absorbs green light. Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment.

...

The heart rate sensor can also use infrared light. This mode is what Apple Watch uses when it measures your heart rate every 10 minutes. However, if the infrared system isn’t providing an adequate reading, Apple Watch switches to the green LEDs. In addition, the heart rate sensor is designed to compensate for low signal levels by increasing both LED brightness and sampling rate.

William -

Ps: Green LEDs apparently can be used for reflective oximetry, when paired with infrared. I suspect accuracy is not yet sufficient, or measurements not reliable enough yet, so Apple did not include oximetry in the initial release—but one can hope for signal processing advancements to allow for it in the future.

William -

I really don't think you can do it with just infrared and green LEDs. Pulse oximeters use one of two combinations: red and IR, or red and green. The common denominator (and the key to the pulse oximeter, itself) is the red light.

That's why we have the mnemonic "SeXy DARLing", which stands for "at SiX hundred nm wavelength DeoxyHb Absorbs Red Light". At green wavelengths, both oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin absorb equally, and the same is true at 780nm IR. So, IR and green are the wavelengths you use to calibrate red.

My best guess, Apple uses IR for the "any time" pulse because it's invisible, and green for the more accurate "on demand" pulse because it's relatively unobtrusive. Shine a green light into skin and it does not go far. Shine a white light, and you get a red halo. Red is the band that propagates through a human body. If they had red LEDs, the light would diffuse a cm or two, enough to light up the skin all around the watch, forming a "halo".

koloshor -

Is the gyroscope nestled in within the area at step 23?

Willy - Reply

the Gyro should be one the FCB which ifixit has not tear down yet.

iamedriczhang -

So, a magnet on the watch. I was wondering why there isn't a compass. Was building a business around a magnetometer. Very disappointed!

anonymous 5237 - Reply

It's imposible to measure the relation between oxygenated hemoglobyn and reduced (not oxygenated) hemoglobyn (Hb) without the pair of ir and red lights, is necesary to have this two ligths and receptors for each one light to make a relation between both Hb (oxygenated and reduced) to get a porcentage like 95% of oxygen saturation ( 95% SpO2)

RSR1 - Reply

wondering how the watch calculates the heading angle?Isn't compass mandatory for it.I am sure the watch has the pedometer abilities but what about heading or is it calculated with acc+gyro data + mag data from the GPRS/GSM ?

Raul Piper - Reply

Image 1/3: Apple's inductive charger is a [https://youtu.be/H8OxKx6zKkQ|pretty big deal|new_window=true], and we're always itching to open their newest adapters. Image 2/3: Officially known as the [http://store.apple.com/us/product/MKLG2AM/A/apple-watch-magnetic-charging-cable-1m|Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable|new_window=true], it features a 6.7 mm thick cradle with a diameter of 28 mm. Image 3/3: After some heat, we try to pry, and end up ripping up the back case of the mag-safe-ish charger.
  • Don't touch that dial! We're not done quite yet.

  • Apple's inductive charger is a pretty big deal, and we're always itching to open their newest adapters.

  • Officially known as the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, it features a 6.7 mm thick cradle with a diameter of 28 mm.

  • After some heat, we try to pry, and end up ripping up the back case of the mag-safe-ish charger.

  • To find it filled to the brim with glue!

To find it filled to the brim with glue! AND SOME WINDINGS + A CORE

Please take it further apart. Is there a kind of half ferrite potcore in it? Are those real windings inside or is it a coil made of PCB traces?

Mark de Wit - Reply

I support the wish to take the loader further apart.

(btw: Login via Yahoo does not work, states that iFixit uses a deprecated protocol)

facebook -

Can you please shoot one photo straight from the side of the charger. To show the position where the cable is connected to the charger. Is it in the middle? It would help us so much if you can also measure the diameter of the cable coming out of the charger disc. Thank you.

Aderca - Reply

This may be actually step 25 - the photo of the brass colored coil is kind of odd. It is punctured with about 30 random round holes. Can you see if you can determine what purpose those holes serve?

rmckenzie10 - Reply

If it's step 25, I think that's a PCB, not a coil. Those holes might be vias.

dennis97519 -

Do me a favor don't touch that dial / I rock from Manhattan to the miracle mile! #beastieboys

Reggie - Reply

Image 1/3: After peeling away the weight, we find some markings, but that's about it. Image 2/3: Apple has been notably absent from the ongoing fray over wireless charging standards. Some have speculated that Apple has been [http://www.computerworld.com/article/2896775/why-apple-may-go-its-own-way-with-wireless-charging.html|devising their own|new_window=true] method for inductive charging. Recent Apple patents covering an [http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/08/28/apple-exploring-double-duty-nfc-inductive-charging-coil-for-smartwatches-mobile-phones|integrated NFC/inductive charging coil|new_window=true] support these hypotheses. Image 3/3: Apple has been notably absent from the ongoing fray over wireless charging standards. Some have speculated that Apple has been [http://www.computerworld.com/article/2896775/why-apple-may-go-its-own-way-with-wireless-charging.html|devising their own|new_window=true] method for inductive charging. Recent Apple patents covering an [http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/08/28/apple-exploring-double-duty-nfc-inductive-charging-coil-for-smartwatches-mobile-phones|integrated NFC/inductive charging coil|new_window=true] support these hypotheses.
  • We cut away the housing to get at the little glue cake (complete with magnetic center).

  • After peeling away the weight, we find some markings, but that's about it.

  • Apple has been notably absent from the ongoing fray over wireless charging standards. Some have speculated that Apple has been devising their own method for inductive charging. Recent Apple patents covering an integrated NFC/inductive charging coil support these hypotheses.

Please teardown the charging disc completely... there appear to be other goodies inside if you do a complete teardown... such as a flexible printed circuit board, copper wiring for inductive charging, and a magnet for attaching the Apple Watch to the charging disc, and other small metal parts around the perimeter of the disc for unknown purpose... Thanks!

Steve King - Reply

Yes, the charger needs a more complete teardown.

People are reporting that other magnetic chargers, such as the Qi, do not work with the Apple Watch, yet the Apple charger reportedly can be used with at least one other inductively-charged watch. Something's got to be causing this, and some proprietary chip in the charger would explain it (or, it could just be a more powerful field).

darryl -

It looks like they potted the whole unit in this clear glue. Is it soft goo, like hot glue, or is it hard like epoxy? Does it soften with heat? I'd love to see the business-end of the charger electronics...

Sonar Tech - Reply

Could be interresting to understand how the waveform genereted through the coil are produced (is there any electronic inside the cable? ) THere should be some.

patrice Hamard - Reply

I second that call for further investigation of the charger. If you plug one into a Mac and investigate it, first with System Information and then with USB Prober (the latter being an optional download once you have XCode), you find it's got a lot of USB personality. It claims to implement the HID (Human Interface Device) profile with a transfer speed of 12Mb/sec, and provides more (uninterpretable) information when attached to a Watch than when it is not. So there's definitely smarts in there. To what end? Beats me.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

Image 1/2: While not an industry standard, the watch band is easily removed and swapped out for a replacement. Image 2/2: Removing the screen is difficult, but not impossible—it's the first component out, simplifying replacement.
  • Apple Watch Repairability Score: 5 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • While not an industry standard, the watch band is easily removed and swapped out for a replacement.

    • Removing the screen is difficult, but not impossible—it's the first component out, simplifying replacement.

    • Once you're inside, the battery is quite easy to remove—only mild adhesive holds it in place.

    • While not proprietary, incredibly tiny tri-wing screws are a repair hinderance—especially when Torx or Phillips could have been used.

    • Removing any other component is essentially impossible—all peripheral cables are soldered onto the back of the S1.

    • The fully encased S1 system makes board-level repairs impossible.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Meet the true Apple Watch: the Stainless Steel model. Image 2/3: Curiously enough, the standard Apple Watch has an entirely different box than the Watch Sport. This may be to accommodate the [http://store.apple.com/us/watch/bands|various bands|new_window=true] that can't be laid out flat like the Sport Band. Image 3/3: Curiously enough, the standard Apple Watch has an entirely different box than the Watch Sport. This may be to accommodate the [http://store.apple.com/us/watch/bands|various bands|new_window=true] that can't be laid out flat like the Sport Band.
  • But wait, there's more! For a limited time only, view one teardown, and get a second one free. You heard us, 100% absolutely free!

  • Meet the true Apple Watch: the Stainless Steel model.

  • Curiously enough, the standard Apple Watch has an entirely different box than the Watch Sport. This may be to accommodate the various bands that can't be laid out flat like the Sport Band.

Are you going to open it?

preciosotiempoescaso - Reply

Image 1/3: No surprises here. The same clips and connectors greet us inside. Image 2/3: It looks like not too much has changed. The mounting bracket for the Digital Crown looks significantly more substantial, and the bottom features ''gold'' triwing screws. Image 3/3: That's all for now—but we're not done yet. With several mysteries left, iFixit will be back soon with more analysis.
  • Having perfected our pick procedure, we pop the hood on the Apple Watch Stainless Steel.

  • No surprises here. The same clips and connectors greet us inside.

  • It looks like not too much has changed. The mounting bracket for the Digital Crown looks significantly more substantial, and the bottom features gold triwing screws.

  • That's all for now—but we're not done yet. With several mysteries left, iFixit will be back soon with more analysis.

Interesting that the bracket holding the digital crown on the steel model seems far more substantial than that of the Sport watch - it looks like a casting rather than sheet metal. I'm guessing that's to keep the weight/cost of the Sport model down, but interesting that the differences aren't just skin deep. The encoder barrel looks like a different design too.

alexanderjhorne - Reply

Is the battery bigger? EDIT: Forget that, I thought you were doing a 42mm compared to a 38mm. Silly me.

Danny Yates - Reply

Any word on the battery size of the 42mm?

Remco van den Bosch - Reply

ditto - would like to know how much bigger it is

sm -

ayuda amigos compre un reloj en la web y me llego en modo demo alguien me podria ayudar a sacarlo de ese modo no tiene cuenta icloud estoy dispuesto hacer un aporte economico de ser nescesario al que me brinde la solucion gracias de antemano

ISAAC - Reply

51 Comments

Will you be tearing down the charging disc? Please say, YES!

Steve King - Reply

What a nicely built piece of hardware, it looks extremely well designed - certainly compared to the duct taped together look of the Moto 360 (talking about the internals only).

jboy10a - Reply

This a beautiful tear-down.

Gama Goat - Reply

Can you tear down the watch band for us! We wanna see whats inside it!

bhud07 - Reply

Yes, please show us

qiun -

How do you tear down solid plastic?

Scott Opper -

I'm missing the repairability score. Guess it must be almost zero for the complete watch, although just replacing the battery must be doable for a skilled repairsman.

aeenkhoorn - Reply

Well the Moto 360 received a 3/10, citing the replaceable bands as a positive, but apparently the battery was quite a bit less manageable to remove. I'm betting this will receive a 3 or a 4.

kappanjoe -

Please tear down the box it came in. I think it has the numbers to the lotto

aka666 - Reply

I don't think you completely tore down the charging disc… please try some more heating and prying to expose every little thing… I suspect there are some other goodies to be revealed … Thanks!

Steve King - Reply

Is the Apple Watch that you teased us with the 38mm or the 42 mm? It looks like it has the same battery as the Apple Sport 38 mm . . .

Great Job - as Always - Thank You!

Nikon1 - Reply

38mm, as it's stated in the back of the Watch

alberto240995 -

So much empty space below battery in Stainless Steel.

I expected even denser guts.

abianchetti - Reply

Do you know the RF Chipset used to talk to The IPhone ?

Jay Kullmann - Reply

will it blend?

Admin User - Reply

Anyone know who the manufacturer of the gyroscope is?

John H - Reply

ST Micro is the manufacture for Gyroscope. Chipworks' discovery of Invensense is based on the prototype iwatch, not the one went to massive production.

iamedriczhang -

You keep posting that STMicro won the gyroscope in the Applewatch. Do you have a link, or just an agenda>

The Chipworks conclusion that INVN won the gyro in Applewatch was released 2 weeks ago - but was not conclusive... although the component they speculated was an INVN gyro is shown in the actual teardown images. Other outlets speculated STMicro is in the watch.

I am pretty sure that no one knows for sure yet... if you do, then please offer something up. Otherwise stop stating speculation as fact.

John A -

ST Micro did both the accelerometer and the gyroscope. That's according to Chipworks teardown anyways...

@JohnA:It's Chipworks who concluded that it's an STMicro part. Please try and pay attention before accusing others of unwarranted speculation. It's not like we're being overrun with Apple Watch teardowns after all.

Victor Szulc -

I wonder if you could get a job working for Apple - using this as your CV :)

Ultimate Xbmc - Reply

Amazing teardown!! I've been waiting for today just to see what it looks like inside.

ifix - Reply

You have to hand it to iFixit and their quirky pop culture annotations lol I bet Step# 24.1 is a reference to the Beastie Boys lol

Reggie - Reply

you mean they can't get those little watch batteries that last two decades on these things??? read our humourous review of Apple Watch here: http://entryrevel.com/2015/04/23/just-th...

EntryRevel - Reply

I hope you will do one for the 42mm would like to find out what size battery is in that one with the extra space and that apple says it does seem to get longer battery life, we don't know how much longer with the extra screen to power but look at the iPhone 6 and 6 plus.

Brianmcs - Reply

who made the gyroscope? is anything in watch made by INVN? thanks, nice job.

bizwhizyay - Reply

ST Micro made the gyroscope.

iamedriczhang -

Can you do a tear down of the Watch Edition version?

vandutran - Reply

OK... You know what CPU is inside of the S1?

I'll tell you...

Ready?

It's a single core version of the A5.... You heard it here first. How do I know?

Can't tell, but here's something to think about: Remember when a new version of the 3rd Gen Apple TV showed up, featuring a 28nm, reworked single core version of the A5?

And remember there was a lot of speculation, that it was a test run of sorts, and that Apple was planning to use the chip for something else? Since it didn't really make sense to go through all that trouble just to save a few watts in an Apple TV?

Victor Szulc - Reply

The Gyro is marked C451. How does anyone know that is STM?

KrisCo - Reply

The 6 axis Accel/Gyro in the Apple Watch is Labeled "C 451". How does this tie it to STM? STM uses their ST letter logo and doesn't have a part "C" anything. How is it that an analyst named Blair at Rosenblat announced STM as the Apple Watch design winner two weeks ago?

At some point the winner needs to brag. No one is taking credit yet...

KrisCo - Reply

I find it hard to believe there would be any upgrade path for this device. The case, screen and band are probably about $20 in material/assembly cost. While exquisitely designed, the case is $1.00 worth of metal. The full assembly and ASICs (and R&D and profit) is where the cost is.

-portable RF design engineer

mike - Reply

Can you unbox the case for the Stainless Steel? I want to see if it is possible to make a case like the apple watch edition.

georgelachow - Reply

I'm interested to see the tear down of the leather band.. I'd love to find a way to use a 3rd party band without resorting to a kickstarted band adapter.

Philip Temiyasathit - Reply

It's imposible to measure the relation between oxygenated hemoglobyn and reduced (not oxygenated) hemoglobyn (Hb) without the pair of ir and red lights, is necesary to have this two ligths and receptors for each one light to make a relation between both Hb (oxygenated and reduced) to get a porcentage like 95% of oxygen saturation ( 95% SpO2)

RSR1 - Reply

what do the connections between photodiode, the discrete texas instruments op-amp, and the S1 chip look like? Are there any other components in that signal chain?

tormaid - Reply

A more powerfull battery replacement will be needed in the future.

operarwitter - Reply

Please please please tear open the link bracelet components. The spring mechanisms in both the butterfly enclosure and the individual removable links are works of engineering too.

maximumtrevolocity - Reply

Taptec engine is having recall issues. Seems they are down to only one supplier as of news this morning.

steve - Reply

Can you remove the digital crown?

Alex Stan - Reply

Guys, any idea whether everything can be removed from the casing without destroying parts?

I'm really confused as to how the electroplating companies are managing to plate the casing without frying the board if they leave it in there or whether they even remove it before applying raw voltage to it.

lanhamchris88 - Reply

What language is the game created for this device written in?

Emily Wong - Reply

Anyone could tell the name of the optical sensor for hearth monitoring or some sensor similar?

edoardonagali - Reply

Could you please share some more sturcture details about the tapic engine?

Kenny - Reply

Hello, can you tell me what is the difficulty to separate the LCD screen of the touch glass? Can only do we replace the glass easily? Or the glass is glued to the LCD screen? Thank you and good day

flney - Reply

Hi. I need the same. Did you solve it? I find the spare parts: the external crystal and the glue (adhesive stick) but I have some doubts: How separate brocken cristal from usable lcd and how Stick the new crystal with lcd.

domenico sicignano -

Can anyone tell me if buying a replacement screen from ebay (http://ebay.eu/1RvsqPT) and replacing it using this guide will destroy the waterproofing of the watch. If so, by how much, I'm not going swimming or anything but I wear it in the shower at the moment.

The scratch is very deep and noticeable so I'd really like to remove it :(

Leigh Ellis - Reply

Hi. I need the same. Did you solve it?

domenico sicignano -

Awesome. Very Helpful!!

Jarby Agudelo - Reply

What is the voltage and amps on the wireless charging coil receiver and emitter? Is possible retrofit the receiver inside an iPhone?

fsantiago - Reply

please help?

how i replace the display cable from the s1 board?????

avirambason - Reply

What's the black seal for that runs on the inner of the watch once the screen is removed. As mine came off when pulling off the screen it has two long bits that go near battery connection. How difficult would it be to replace/refit

Jody - Reply

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