New Apple Watch Ultra Faces Supply Delays, MicroLED Display Costs Four Times More Than OLED

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    Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Ultra 2 year alongside its iPhone 15 lineup. This new version came with a range of features and watchOS 10 enhancements, including a user interface. The device boasted improvements, over its model, including an upgraded processor and a brighter display. While the improved display technology was an advancement there have been reports suggesting that Apple has been facing supply chain challenges in developing a microLED version of the Apple Watch Ultra.

    Apple Watch Ultra

    More About the Upcoming Apple Watch Ultra

    Initial reports indicated that Apple aimed to launch the microLED-equipped Apple Watch Ultra as early as 2026 with some sources even hinting at a possible release in 2025. However recent information from The Elec suggests that these supply chain issues have caused delays and Apple is yet to optimize its supply chain for a release.

    Earlier reports from TrendForce mentioned that Apple had plans to introduce microLED technology to the Apple Watch Ultra promising performance compared to OLED displays. However, the transition, to micro LEDs for the Apple Watch Ultra (as for iPhones and iPads) is anticipated to occur gradually over a span of several years.

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    For the decade Apple has been exploring microLED display technology as an alternative to OLED displays. The current iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra features a 1.93-inch OLED screen although there are concerns regarding potential screen burn-in. However, rumors suggest that the upcoming Apple Watch Ultra with microLED technology will boast a 2.12-inch display to address these concerns.

    Nonetheless, there are challenges in the supply chain when it comes to the production cost of microLED displays. These challenges could potentially pose obstacles to bringing this version to market. It has been reported that manufacturing a 2.12-inch microLED display costs around $150 compared to $38 for a panel. With such an increase in cost incorporating microLED technology into a $799 device like the Apple Watch Ultra would considerably impact Apple’s profit margins.

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    To tackle these challenges Apple might choose to wait for improvements in microLED yield rates which could drive down production costs per unit. However, it is expected that with these improvements the cost of microLED displays will still remain higher than that of panels. This factor will influence both Apple’s pricing strategy and revenue projections, for iterations of the Apple Watch.

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    Although the report doesn’t give a timeframe for when we can expect the release of the Apple Watch Ultra, with microLED technology we will keep you informed with any updates as soon as they become available.

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