Apple Watch Ultra With MicroLED Display Again Rumored to Launch by 2025

A new Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display will be released in 2024 or 2025, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Apple plans to extend the technology to iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks too eventually.

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The report reiterates that Apple has been actively developing microLED technology since it acquired California-based company LuxVue in 2014. Given that microLED display production remains challenging, manufacturing costs are higher, which is why Apple will start rolling out the technology with the Apple Watch Ultra before larger devices.

European company ams OSRAM will be the primary supplier of microLED chips for Apple, but there is potential for Taiwanese suppliers like Epistar to become additional suppliers of microLED chips by 2026-2027, according to the report.

A new Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display has been rumored by several sources, including Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, and Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Gurman said the microLED transition could begin by the end of 2024, but noted the timeframe could slip into 2025. Young also gave a 2025 timeframe, so the technology could be at least two years away.

Pu said the new Apple Watch Ultra will likely feature a larger 2.1-inch display, and microLED technology would allow for increased brightness compared to existing Apple Watch models with OLED displays. The current Ultra has around a 1.9-inch display.

In the meantime, Apple is still completing its lengthy transition from LCD to OLED display technology. The Apple Watch has used OLED since it launched in 2015, and iPhone models gradually switched to OLED starting in 2017. Rumors suggest the first iPad Pro and MacBook models with OLED displays will be released in 2024.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra 2
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

DCstewieG Avatar
16 months ago

This seems like its for Apple instead of the users. Aside from the exceedingly rare burn in issue, Apple Watch's OLED displays are peak and really do not need anything. Whatever micro-LED is doing for Apple, its for Apple.
The ability to be brighter or more power efficient at lower brightness is a big deal for mobile devices, even setting aside the lack of burn-in.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfzen21 Avatar
16 months ago
2025 sounds good to me!

I would like to keep mine for at least 3 years.

If the display goes up to 2.1 I hope the body size doesnt change. If looks like there is currently enough room to push the screen out to the edges and achieve that 2.1 size without making the body bigger.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Born Again Avatar
16 months ago
How about the ability to work as good if not better than a garmin watch?

Seriously guys I wear two watches! One for sports that pairs with my ant+ sensors (bike, run, heart rate, cadence, speed, temperature, radar) and the other Apple Watch that does nothing of the sort.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
16 months ago
A tech rumor 2 years away is rather meaningless, especially when so much can change in that kind of time frame.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BenGoren Avatar
16 months ago
Obviously the technology must be difficult, but I still really, really, really like the idea of some variation on the e-ink theme. Our visual systems work great with paper-type reflective media; the most you need is a very low-power backlight for when it’s too dark to be able to read with ambient light. Otherwise, the brightness and white point / color temperature and everything else automatically instantly adjusts itself to the perfect level.

Seriously — take a piece of paper with stuff written on it. Stand in a dark corner; you don’t have to worry about it burning your eyes from being too bright. Take the same piece of paper into direct sunlight and you don’t have to worry about it being so dim you can’t see anything at all.

All these ever-brighter displays, ambient illumination sensors, and the rest are just trying so very hard (and never quite succeeding) at achieving a level of performance that the Egyptians perfected thousands of years ago.

(Granted, the refresh rate of papyrus leaves something to be desired, and it tends to crack before it folds — but you get the point.)

Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Corsig Avatar
16 months ago
2 years from now we’ll be on version 3 of the yellow iPhone. Fingers crossed
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)