Thanks to a report from Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg, we have an idea of Apple’s plans for an upcoming Apple Watch Ultra… and some changes they have planned 👀.
The focus of Gurman’s report is Apple’s desire to eventually swap out all displays in their devices for custom, in-house Apple displays. Their wish is to reduce the amount of reliance on outside technology partners like LG and Samsung, just like they did with Apple Silicon (and that move worked out incredibly well!):
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.Mark Gurman
Apple’s plan for in-house display is starting with another entry into the highest-end Apple Watch yet, the Apple Watch Ultra. Penned for the general end of 2024, this new Apple Watch Ultra at the bare minimum will be featuring Apple’s first homemade MicroLED display, if Gurman’s report holds water.
Apple has been testing a switch to Apple displays for years now, originally planning to start the switch back in 2020 – but due to high costs and technical challenges, they had to shelf the move.
The high-end Apple Watch Ultra is the perfect first attempt at implementing an idea like this. The display on the Apple Watch Ultra measures around 2-inches, so Apple can allow their first deployment of in-house display tech to start small (literally). An Apple Watch refresh is planned for 2023, but that product lineup would consist of generally incremental changes with no heavy-hitting features.
In his report, Mark does acknowledge that Apple’s plans could slip into 2025 – especially given their already pushed-back timeline:
Apple’s 2024 target could potentially slip until 2025, some people involved in the project said. The company also could just offer a limited supply of the new devices to get the transition started.Mark Gurman
The idea that Apple would also offer a slightly more limited offering of Apple Watch Ultra with new Apple displays in the device could also make sense. After all, the Ultra is already considered a more premium, higher-priced offering. Apple can’t expect to sell as many of the Ultra model as something with a more acceptable pricing structure.
Let’s all be cautiously optimistic! Clearly, Apple has the resources and the dollars to switch to and create in-house tech for their devices. Apple Silicon will go down as one of the best implementations and innovations in mobile technology within the past decade for sure. We’re rooting for ya, Tim!
Don’t screw it up… or charge an arm and a leg for the pleasure of using an Apple display, okay?