In brief: The Apple Watch Series 7 has a hidden wireless data transfer module that may be able to work at USB speeds but won't be available to users. This could simply be a diagnostics interface, but some speculate it might be the precursor to a technology that Apple will use to make a portless iPhone in the future.
Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 7, with a bigger and brighter display, refractive bezels, dust resistance, and more. The new wearable was widely expected to be a significant departure from previous designs and a more full-featured health tracker, but those changes are likely reserved for next year's Apple Watch.
However, there's something in the new Apple Watch that wasn't talked about during the announcement event, and probably for good reason. According to FCC filings that were spotted by MacRumors, all Watch Series 7 models have a hidden module that is capable of 60.5 GHz wireless data transfers.
Image credit: Martin Hajek
You're not supposed to be able to use this new module, as the filings suggest it will only activate when placing the Apple Watch on a proprietary "A2687" magnetic dock that also has the corresponding 60.5 GHz module inside and supports USB Type-C. This dock is probably reserved for Apple engineers and support technicians who need the new interface for fast data transfers, running diagnostics, or quickly restoring the Watch Series 7 to its factory settings.
At this point, nobody knows whether Apple will ever expose this new functionality to consumers or if this is simply just meant to act as a diagnostics interface. Still, its existence has led some to speculate this may be a step in a series that Apple will take towards the creation of a portless iPhone, possibly even a portless iPad, something that's been rumored for years.
It's easy to see why Apple would go this route, if it ever decides to make another display of courage and drop the remaining port from its most popular mobile device. After all, the Cupertino giant has revived its MagSafe brand, and the European Commission will soon pressure it to adopt USB Type-C on the iPhone, something the company has been reluctant about. Time will tell, of course, and we can't wait for iFixit's teardown of the Apple Watch Series 7.