iFixit takes apart an Apple Watch Ultra, finds it difficult to repair.
When iFixit took apart the iPhone 14 it discovered that Apple has redesigned the internals to make the phone easier to repair, earning it a decent score of 7/10 on the repairability rating. The new Apple Watch Ultra has four exposed screws holding the back panel – does that mean that the new $800 smartwatch is easy to repair?
Well, no. Check out iFixit’s teardown video below, which explains the challenges of fixing a Watch Ultra.
Part of that is unavoidable – the watch is rated for an impressive 100m water resistance and you can take it diving down to a depth of 40m (130ft). That kind of waterproofing requires a really good seal, so if you take the back off, you need to make sure you put in a new seal (and do it well too).
Another issue is with the design itself – the battery cannot be accessed from the back, you have to remove the display. That was the case with the Watch Series 7 as well, but the Apple Watch Ultra has a flat display and the metal body has a raised lip around it for protection. That makes removing the display without breaking it very difficult.
How much do repairs cost? Going through official Apple channels will cost you $100 for replacing the battery, other more involved repairs (including a broken screen) will be $500 without an AppleCare+ plan (and $80 with it).
You can have a look at iFixit’s battery and screen replacement guides if you’re considering doing repairs yourself.