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Apple Watch Ultra’s big microLED upgrade has reportedly been delayed

Published Feb 6th, 2024 7:12AM EST
Apple Watch Ultra 2 with blood oxygen feature / Apple Watch ban
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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For over a year, we have heard that a microLED Apple Watch Ultra is slated to release in 2026. Now, a supply chain report by the Korean version of The Elec says this model could be delayed until 2027 or later.

Interestingly, rumors started by predicting Apple was readying this Apple Watch Ultra update for a 2024 release. It was later postponed to 2025, then 2026… Hopefully, it could land in 2027. The Elec says the biggest obstacle to mass production of the microLED Apple Watch is its manufacturing cost, including production yield.

If Apple were to produce this display now, a 2-inch screen could cost Cupertino around $150, while the existing OLED display costs $38. The publication says that Apple’s consumer selling price of a product with a panel price of $150 is ” known to be around $1,500.” Since Apple promotes the Watch Ultra for $799, the Watch could practically double the price if the company wanted to release it sooner rather than later.

Although this particular upgrade might be holding users from upgrading to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 or even the possible 2024 model, it’s possible that this 2027 timeframe could offer way more benefits than just a display change.

While it’s rumored that Apple is planning sleep apnea detection for the 2024 Apple Watch, it’s also planning to roll out blood pressure sensors in phases. While the first iteration will just tell a user if their blood pressure is trending upward, a 2027 version could have the ability to provide exact numbers and even diagnose related conditions.

In addition, Apple is putting all its efforts into a blood glucose sensor for a future Apple Watch. While it’s unclear if the company will be able to pull a non-invasive system, it’s easier to predict this technology could be presented in 2027 rather than 2024.

BGR will keep following the latest microLED Apple Watch Ultra reports. Below, you can learn more about the future Apple Watch Series 10.

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.