If you buy an Apple Watch this year, it may not be long before you need a new one. This past week, iFixit published its first look at the Apple Watch. The device received a 5/10 on its repairability scale, citing the near impossibility of removing components from inside the smartwatch. The price of the watch Apple wants it compared against other luxury watches with a price ranging from $349 to $17,000. It’s longevity will not approach any of its non-smart competitors, however, according to iFixit.
iFixit on the Apple Watch: “Once inside, coaxing the battery out is a cinch, but the overall device construction limits further repair options … We hoped to confirm rumors of upgradable internals — but had no such luck. The S1 SiP [internal System in Package] is encased in resin, and is further held in place by a mess of glue and soldered ribbon connectors. In short, basic component replacements look nearly impossible.”
Making electronics that become obsolete after a few short years is nothing new to Apple, and being the most valuable company in the world means you can basically do whatever you want. New owners of the Apple Watch will find themselves in need of replacement within a few short years.
If you’re dumb enough to spend somewhere in the middle, say $10,000, you’ll pay $3,333 a year, or more, before you need a new one. The pricing and the product simply do not line up when you compare your watch options with a $10,000 budget.
For many of you, this is not news. Like PCs and now smartphones, smartwatches will likely need replacing every 2-3 years, and options for self repair continue to dwindle as components shrink and designs get more elaborate.