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Apple Watch Ultra supplier will reportedly 3D print some mechanical parts

Published Jul 14th, 2023 11:03AM EDT
Apple Watch Ultra on a cactus, displaying the exclusive Ultra watch face
Image: Jonathan S. Geller for BGR

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With a new Apple Watch Ultra expected to be announced this year running watchOS 10, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another report regarding Apple’s wearable device for adventurers. According to Kuo, Apple is “actively adopting 3D printing technology, and it’s expected that some of the titanium mechanical parts of the 2H23 new Apple Watch Ultra will be made by 3D printing.”

The analyst notes that even though Apple could switch some parts, the device will still have to go through the CNC process for back-end processes. Kuo says that this change can “improve the production time and reduce the production cost,” although it doesn’t mean Apple will make the watch cheaper.

Ming-Chi Kuo says that IPG Photonics will be the exclusive supplier of laser components, and the printer suppliers are Farsoon and BLT. “If shipments go well, I believe more Apple products will adopt 3D printing technology, which will help improve production cost and ESG performance in Apple’s supply chain, and the above-mentioned suppliers will also benefit from this new production trend.”

This report comes a few weeks after Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter that Apple is planning to launch two Apple Watch Series 9 sizes and second-gen Apple Watch Ultra codenamed N207, N208, and N210) alongside the iPhone 15 series this fall.

While Gurman didn’t provide details about this upcoming Apple Watch Ultra, he previously reported that Apple plans to add a faster chip to the new Apple Watch models. Since the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple has been using the same processor but with tweaks that don’t change speed.

For a future iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra, it’s expected that Apple will switch the OLED panel to a microLED option by 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 Apple Watch Ultra by 2025.

BGR will let you know once we learn more about future Apple Watch models

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.