To shift away from Samsung and LG, Apple plans to produce its in-house microLED display for an upcoming version of the Apple Watch Ultra. According to Bloomberg, the Cupertino firm aims for a 2024 release, but the schedule can slip to 2025.
The changes are part of a sweeping effort to replace Apple supplies with homegrown parts, an undertaking that will give the company more control over the design and capabilities of its products. The tech giant has dropped Intel Corp. chips in its Mac computers in favor of in-house designs and plans to do the same with the key wireless components in its iPhones.
Apple has been planning this switch since 2018, at least. While the main goal was to introduce this new panel in 2020, display costs and technical challenges got in the way. With a microLED display, an upcoming Apple Watch ultra model will offer brighter, more vibrant colors and the ability to be better seen at an angle. People who have seen this new display say it makes the content appear “like it’s painted on top of the glass.”
Once the company rolls out this technology to the Apple Watch, the publication reports that Apple plans to do the same to other devices, such as the iPhone. While the company wants to produce its in-house display, it will likely rely on an outside supplier for mass production.
What we know about the microLED Apple Watch Ultra
Over these past few days, rumors about the microLED Apple Watch Ultra ramped up. It 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,” while people who wait a bit longer will get a bigger and better watch in 2024 with microLED technology.
He says this new Apple Watch will have a 2.1-inch display, up from the 1.93-inch on the current model. Then, yesterday, reliable display analyst Ross Young reported that the upcoming microLED Apple Watch is expected to be released in spring 2025, as the production on the panels for this device is set to start at the end of 2024.
For 2023, rumors about new features to Apple Watch models are still sparse. Apple is working on blood glucose level and blood pressure sensors, but it’s unclear whether these features will land this year or need a few more years of development. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman believes this will be another mild year for Apple’s smartwatch lineup, apart from a new, faster processor.