In 2022, Apple unveiled a new Apple Watch model dubbed the Apple Watch Ultra. Although this smartwatch offers the same processor as the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2, it has a new 49mm display with a titanium finish, a new Action Mode, and improved GPS sensors. With a huge battery, the Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s bet for professional athletes and customers that want the most expensive features.
But is Apple releasing a new Apple Watch Ultra every year like the regular Apple Watch models, or is it being released every few years like an iPad Pro? Here’s what we know.
What do rumors tell us about an Apple Watch Ultra in 2023?
After introducing three new Apple Watch models in 2022, Apple is not ready for anything more than “some minor performance boosts” in this year’s schedule. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has teased a new processor for the Apple Watch Series 9, but besides that, we really don’t know anything new Apple could be planning for this year’s Apple Watch lineup.
Since Apple doesn’t release a new Apple Watch SE every year, the lack of rumors regarding new features and sensors shows Apple will likely not unveil a new Ultra model this year.
If not in 2023, when?
While an Apple Watch Ultra is not rumored for 2023, it could see the light of day at the end of 2024 or 2025. The major feature will be a new microLED display. The last time we heard about this new Apple Watch was from DigiTimes.
At the time, the report said Apple had been actively developing microLED technology since it bought LuxVue in 2014. Due to production challenges and high manufacturing costs, the Cupertino firm would first introduce this new display in an Apple Watch.
For the first generation of this display, European company OSRAM will be the primary supplier of microLED chips for Apple, while Taiwan’s Epistar could become an additional supplier by 2026-2027.
As of now, DigiTime corroborates other reports that the new Ultra model with microLED will launch around 2024 and 2025.
Rumors about the microLED Apple Watch Ultra started with an analysis by Haitong Intl Tech Research analyst Jeff Pu. According to his note, Pu expects Apple Watch sales to drop in 2023 due to a “lack of significant spec upgrade.” He says this new miniLED Apple Watch Ultra will have a 2.1-inch display, up from the 1.93-inch on the current model.
Display analyst Ross Young and Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman also expect Apple to introduce the microLED technology on the Apple Watch in 2025.