An Apple Watch Series 7 teardown reveals what lies behind its screen's updated design
iFixit has now completed its teardown of the Apple Watch Series 7, with a former engineer for the Cupertino giant, Tobias Harrison-Noonan, as a special guest. The YouTube channel started by prying the wearable's newly enlarged screen up and to the side, as it did last time. However, the team decided to apply heat beforehand this time, which apparently makes this first step easier.
Once that was done, the dissembly revealed that Apple had re-arranged the Watch Series 7's touch and OLED flex cables to be confluent, whereas the former had curved up and around the top edge in its predecessor. This internal re-design may have helped make the display larger with smaller bezels in the latest generation - although it may also explain the production (and perhaps release) delays it experienced in 2021.
iFixit and Harrison-Noonan also noted that a wired diagnostic port present in the Series 6 has now gone missing in its successor. It is said to have been replaced by a wireless counterpart, found somewhere in the S7 processor's package, and may or may not be an ominous foreshadowing of a future with portless iPhones.
However, despite these internal layout changes, the Apple Watch Series 7 was ultimately awarded the same iFixit repairability score as its predecessor: 6. Therefore, a user might have a decent chance of restoring their slightly older smartwatch rather than pay for an upgrade in 2021.