Apple recently introduced the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in September, and while they brought some new features to the table, they were largely iterative updates over their predecessors. Stemming from this, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that Apple may break its tradition of launching a new Apple Watch Ultra every year and skip the Watch Ultra 3 next year.
Apple Watch Ultra 3 May Skip 2024 Launch if Apple Doesn’t Start Production as Early as December
Due to the growing popularity of Apple Watches, particularly in relation to the health tracking benefits they offer, Kuo believes that Apple has been working on new “innovative health management” features, and probably needs a bit more time to finalize the development process.
This is important because development on the Watch Ultra 3 has not yet begun. If Apple decides to postpone the Watch Ultra 3 project any later than December, it is highly likely that we will not see the next Watch Ultra.
The issue with the delay is that Apple is looking to integrate MicroLED into its wearables starting in 2024-25, in line with most of the reports earlier this year. To address the technical issues within this process, we may not see a MicroLED Apple Watch next year.
Some rumors did point out that the Watch Ultra, slated to be released in 2024 may just feature a larger 2.1-inch MicroLED panel. For a bit of a reference, the Watch Ultra 2 measures 1.92-inch diagonally, housing an OLED panel.
As for the repercussions Apple will potentially have to face, Kuo says that the delay in the release of the Apple Watch Ultra 3 could have ripple effects on Apple’s smartwatch shipments in 2024. If no new model is introduced, shipments of the Apple Watch Ultra are projected to decline by 20-30% YoY.
Furthermore, the total Apple Watch shipments, which have been steadily increasing, may see a 10% YoY decline to approximately 35 million units. Keep in mind that Kuo’s statements are based on extrapolation of trends according to his years of experience of covering Apple news, however if what he says is true, then this would be the first time ever that Apple has delayed an Apple Watch model (The Series X, or 10 may still release without delays).
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.