Apple‘s long-rumoured transition to microLED display technology for its Apple Watch series may not happen anytime soon. A new report by a Korean publication suggests that the Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display will arrive in 2027 at the earliest. Previous reports pointed to a 2025 release. Supply chain issues are reportedly causing the delay. The Cupertino-based company launched the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 alongside the iPhone 15 lineup in September last year.
As per a report by The Elec, an Apple Watch with a microLED display has been delayed beyond 2026. The report, citing analysts, states that even a 2027 release date is uncertain. Apple has not yet been reportedly able to finalise the component supply chain to make microLED displays for the Apple Watch. This contradicts past reports pointing to a 2025 release. Trend Force, last year, opined that the launch of the next Apple Watch Ultra has been pushed to 2026, while DSCC's Ross Young previously stated that 2025 could be the year of microLED on the Apple Watch.
High microLED manufacturing costs could be the main cause of supply issues. As per the report, the cost of producing a 2-inch microLED display is $150 (roughly Rs. 12,000), almost four times compared to $38 (roughly Rs. 3,000) for the OLED panel. Incorporating the microLED technology in the wearable priced at $799 could be a challenge for Apple as it impacts the company's revenue from the product.
Currently, Apple uses OLED displays for its wearables. The microLED display technology offers improved resolution, lifespan, colour contrast, and the ability to be better seen at an angle compared to traditional panels. The company is widely speculated to replace the current OLED standard with microLED technology in its iPhone, iPad, and Mac units from 2024 onwards.
Apple unveiled the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 alongside the iPhone 15 lineup and Watch Series 9 last year. It is currently available in India for Rs. 89,900 in Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean band options.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 features a 49mm case with a Retina display that offers up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness. It runs on watchOS 10 and has Apple's custom S9 SiP under the hood. The watch supports a diving depth of 40 meters.
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