iFixit Apple Watch Tear Down Kills Hopes of Upgrades

Apple Watch deliveries have barely started arriving, and iFixit has already stripped one down to its screws. What they found inside pretty much kills hopes and rumors that Apple will offer internal component upgrades when future models come out.

Apple packs a lot inside Apple Watch, but upgradability isn't thereApple packs a lot inside Apple Watch, but upgradability isn't there

While there probably won't be an upgrade path for the Apple Watch's guts, there are a few bits of good news tucked inside Apple's brand new smartwatch. The display is relatively easy for someone with the right skills to remove, so it won't be difficult to replace. The battery can be quickly replaced, too, should it wear out before you move on to a new model.

iFixit gives Apple points for making the watch band easy to remove, too. That may not seem like a big deal, but it matters for people who want to swap theirs out regularly.

Replacing other components is essentially an act in futility thanks to uber-tiny screws and a resin casing around chips, boards, and cables.

Apple Watch's heart rate monitor sports an interesting feature: it's a plethysmograph, which means it's essentially a pulse oximeter. Pulse oximeters sense your blood oxygen level through your skin, and could be a very hand feature for health and fitness tracking.

Apple isn't touting—or even using—that feature, which could be a move to avoid FDA regulatory approval. Maybe that's coming with a future software update, or maybe Apple just doesn't want to deal with the Food and Drug Administration.

You can check out the full tear down at the iFixit website.