Analyst: Why Apple Watch will be Apple’s most upgradeable product

“It might be difficult for investors to imagine a world where consumers line up at the nearest Apple Inc. retail outlet for an upgrade instead of an entirely new product,” Louis Bedigian reports for Benzinga. “Believe it or not, that could be the future for at least one new Apple device.”

“‘I think most of the improvements will occur in the internal guts of the watch,’ Sean Udall, CIO of Quantum Trading Strategies and author of The TechStrat Report, told Benzinga,” Bedigian reports. “‘Effectively, a watch is a watch. Apple can literally upgrade a few key components inside.’ Udall said that the processor and the battery will need to be included in that upgrade.”

“If Apple allows customers to upgrade their watches, Udall believes this will make for a ‘much more compelling purchase,'” Bedigian reports. “‘I’m pretty sure you’re going to be able to take your watch into the Apple Store, give it to them, and they’ll be able to upgrade internal components,’ he said.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You’d think Apple would have announced level of upgradability on Monday, wouldn’t you? So far, the only thing we’ve heard from Apple that’s replaceable inside Apple Watch is the battery.

Related article:
Apple Watch’s battery lasts around 3 years and is replaceable – March 10, 2015


  1. “‘I’m pretty sure you’re going to be able to take your watch into the Apple Store, give it to them, and they’ll be able to upgrade internal components.”

    And you base that on your examination of how many actual watches?

    These guys never get tired of reading their own speculations, as if they had some basis in reality.

    1. And you base your opinion that it won’t be upgradeable on what exactly?

      I would consider it axiomatic that the internals will be upgradeable based on the following:

      1. Much of the Apple Watch functionality and heavy lifting is driven by the tethered iPhone—new iPhone, new functionality.

      2. The S1 SOC is just that—a System On Chip. IOW, the entire internals are contained within a single package.

      3. The Watch has a very confined form factor internally but Moore’s Law suggests that future generations of a processor pack more punch within a given space (OK, not quite Moore’s Law but you get the drift).

      4. It therefore follows from 3 that any future Sx SOC will pack more grunt in the same space and form factor as the S1. Laying off a lot of the work to the current and later generations of iPhone extends the time of obsolescence for the S1 somewhat but there will come a time when it will be superseded—and we all know how fast tech changes.

      5. Is it actually reasonable to assume that Apple have not already thought of this aspect? The very first thing I thought when Tim Cook unveiled the Watch was, the internals are going to be upgradable.

      If Apple had only released a single version like the Sport, very few people would be kvetching but because they also chose to release a version in the super-premium league, encased in gold where the value of the casing far exceeds the internals, it makes no sense if Apple hadn’t already considered how technology would evolve.

      If Apple are remaining tight-lipped about the core hardware, is that really any surprise? At least we know for certain that battery is ultimately replaceable but ten years down the line the electronic guts will be out of date—but being an SOC, and later iterations packing more oomph for the same package size, it should be trivial—and comparatively cheap—to replace the entire SOC.

      My 2 groats-worth.


      1. It’s just their cheap mind making excuses for the price point of the AWE. They do have a middle class watch too, for 549 to 1099 depending on if you’re upper-middle class or just middle class, and there is also a peasant versions for 349 to 399 depending on the size you want.

  2. Apple is never going to announce upgrades on a product that isn’t even available for sale yet. The last thing they want is brodcasting a short shelf life for the product. But Ben Bajarin asked Apple reps at the event about upgradeability and they didn’t say “no”, they said ‘we have no comment on that at this time’.

    1. “No amount [sic] of upgrades . . . .”

      Not meaning to quibble with your astute and well-reasoned prognostication, Sean, may I point out that you meant to write “No [number] of upgrades . . . .” “Amount” is used with singular, uncountable items such as water, air, love, etc.

      That is: “No amount of reasoning will ever change a mind as closed and puerile as yours.”

      “Number,” on the other hand, is used with plural, countable items like pennies, fingers, tires, and so on.

      That is, “I cannot begin to count the number of holes in your argument, sir.”

      Now, and with that said, “PHHHHT” (tongue very moist) to your opinion.

  3. I do think there will be an upgrade, at least for the 10K or 17K Apple Watch Edition. Even if you are rich, I don’t think you just trow away a beautiful piece of craftsmanship made of the most resistant gold.

    1. I also believe if Apple can change the batteries then changing the single component computing engine is not that much harder to exchange.

      The real issue is if the watch was designed to allow the upgrade and what will be the margin on the upgrade costs versus cost of buying a new watch.

      Apple is in new territory so all past practices are being revisited.

  4. People will not spend $500 to upgrade the watch every 2-3 years like they do their phone. If Apple introduces those kind of improvements that frequently it will be pretty shitty unless there is some kind of trade-in upgrade structure in place.

    1. But millions would at $99.
      I think if Apple wants people to adopt their watch as jewellery (and they do), I think we’ll see internal upgrades every year. Especially the processor and battery.

      Of course if Apple wants people to adopt their watch as fashion (and they do), I think we’ll see external upgrades every 2-3 years.

      Any one person may keep their watch for 6 or more years. But there will be fashion pressure driving people to newer models.

  5. The watch won’t be upgradeable. Apple will continue to make the watch thinner and lighter every year just like they do with their PCs, laptops, phones, and tablets.

    There may be a trade in option with the Edition watch where the gold can be melted down and recovered. That would be an awful waste if there wasn’t, and a grade secondary market opportunity.

  6. If if you could, they would charge you an arm and a leg for it. Look how much they charge to replace a battery in a iPhone. I can do that for less than 10 dollars, they charge at least 85. So a upgrade for a watch will probably cost at least 300.

    1. Come on, Mommy’s little Troll Dude, get back under the bridge and get off the internet. Leave those people with triple digit IQs alone and be happy they don’t realize that you and your two brothers can together, nearly equal theirs.

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