Apple Watch 7 packs new ‘communications transmitter’ for data transfer

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Apple Watch Series 7
But you probably won't be able to use it.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 7 comes with a brand-new “communications transmitter” for wireless data transfer, regulatory documents reveal. The 60.5GHz module works with a “Wireless Serial Dock” that could enable faster transfer speeds.

It seems, however, that the new connectivity option is likely going to be reserved for internal use.

Apple Watch Series 7 gets new wireless data module

Apple Watch Series 7 is near-identical to Apple Watch Series 6, with the same design, processor and health sensors. But it’s not just a slightly bigger screen that Apple packed into its case for this year’s refresh.

The newest Apple Watch also charges 33% faster than its predecessors. And it appears to include a new wireless module that could enable faster data transfers — albeit only for Apple employees.

The module was revealed in Federal Communications Commission documents spotted by MacRumors, which mentions “a 60.5GHz unlicensed/license-exempt data communications transmitter module,” and a “propriety Wireless Serial Dock” that works with it.

The dock contains a corresponding receiver, magnets that hold Apple Watch in place while data transfers take place, and a USB-C port for connectivity.

Not for Apple Watch owners

It is believed that the new connectivity module and accompanying dock will enable faster data transfers between Apple Watch and a second device. That means it could work for diagnostic tests and for flashing firmware to newly built units in the factory.

The fact that the module is unlicensed or license-exempt suggests the new data module will be exclusively reserved for internal use. However, Apple could use similar technologies in other devices later, perhaps to enable a portless iPhone.

It remains unclear when Apple Watch Series 7 will make its official debut. iPhone 13 and the company’s newest iPad models go on sale around the world, but Apple’s website still lists the next-gen smartwatch as “coming later this fall.”