Take a peek inside an Apple Watch

Everything about the Apple Watch in :90
Everything about the Apple Watch in :90

The first Apple Watches are making their way to customers today, and some folks are already tearing them apart, literally.

In a blog post and video, the repair gurus at iFixit showed how to open up the Apple Watch, pour its guts out and put it back together.

Well ... putting it back together might be a stretch. Removing the various components destroyed the Apple (AAPL) Watch beyond repair. It tore through a sea of cables when it lifted out the Watch's "S1" processor.

That's bad news if you want to do something crazy to your Watch like upgrade the processor or let the digital crown dial up to 11. But if you're just replacing the screen or battery, those can be done much more easily -- and without turning your Apple Watch into a $350 Livestrong band.

IFixit said the simplest fix was removing the band -- just a simple press on the release button on the back of the Watch and the strap slides out.

apple watch band

But then out came the weapons of mass destruction: a razor blade and pliers. The Apple Watch has no external screws -- just glue holding the watch together. So if you're going to replace a component, you're going to have to scrape away (with the razor blade) gobs of glue holding the screen in place.

After removing the display, the battery and "Tapic Engine" live right underneath. The battery is held in place with a little glue, but not too much -- it can be lifted (here's where the pliers come in handy) right out of its case.

apple watch battery

IFixit said the battery is super tiny -- just 205 milliampere-hours (a typical smartphone has a more-than-2,000 mAh battery). That's much smaller than the 300-or-so mAh batteries in rival smartwatches, but Apple says the Watch's miniscule battery should last an impressive 18 hours.

The Taptic Engine comes in place of a typical vibrating motor found in most smartphones. Vibrating motors spin around, but the Apple Watch's Taptic Engine has a spring-loaded motor that goes back in forth in a straight line. That's why the Apple Watch feels like it's tapping you on the wrist when you get a notification.

apple watch taptic engine

Attached to the Taptic Engine is the speaker, which is encapsulated by a rubber ring that gives it water resistance. Apple said the Watch can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for a half hour -- but it doesn't recommend that you try it. Apple designed the Watch to withstand sweat and rain, not swimming.

apple watch speaker

IFixit also found what lives behind a mysterious door that lives behind the band enclosure of the Apple Watch. It has six copper connectors, but it's not clear exactly what they're used for. It's rumored to be a diagnostic port that Apple Store employees can use to determine what's wrong with your Watch.

apple watch port

The biggest mystery that iFixit untangled is whether you can buy one Apple Watch and swap out the internal components for better guts. The answer is a definitive "no." Apple's S1 processor is glued down so firmly that any attempt to remove it will tear through connector cables. It's also protected by a hard plastic shell, making it difficult to swap out or even see any of the internal components.

apple watch s1

So if you want a better Apple Watch, you're going to have to wait until a new one comes out next year.

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