Watches, at least the traditional kind, are meant to be bought and kept for years on end. This is because in terms of watch technology, there really isn’t much to upgrade, not like our smartphones or computers. However smartwatches have changed that where each new model comes with a better display, faster processor, more battery, and so on.

This means that consumers will be in a never-ending cycle of upgrades, which can get rather expensive when you do it annually. However in a recently discovered patent (via AppleInsider), it seems that Apple has considered the possibility of creating an Apple Watch with a removable backplate that would allow users to upgrade the device over time.

Overall these changes are expected to make the watch thicker, but from the front there should be no noticeable differences. We’re not sure to what extent are upgrades allowed, but the patent suggests that users could add more features through add-ons. Perhaps it could allow for a larger battery, or maybe a glucose monitoring system that could be sold separately.

In any case given that this is a patent, there’s no telling if Apple has plans on making it a reality. After all there are obvious financial advantages for customers to keep buying a new Apple Watch every year versus making incremental upgrades.

Filed in Apple >Gadgets. Read more about Apple Watch, Patent, Smartwatch and Wearable Tech.

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