Plans for an Apple Watch Ultra sporting a microLED display have been delayed from 2025 until 2026, according to TrendForce (as noted by the Japanese site The Elec).
The first Apple Watch with a micro-LED display was initially expected to debut in spring 2025, according to information tweeted by display analyst Ross Young. He predicted that a microLED Apple Watch would launch in spring 2025. Young said production on the panels for the smartwatch update will begin at the end of 2024.
Earlier this year, tech analyst Jeff Pu also predicted such an Apple Watch update. He said the high-end smartwatch — which would almost certainly be a next gen Apple Watch Ultra — would likely adopt a larger 2.1-inch microLED display measured diagonally. This would allow for increased brightness compared to current Apple Watch models with OLED displays.
In May Nikkei Asia reported that Apple plans to mass produce its own microLED displays in order to lessen its reliance on Samsung and increase its own control over supply. As the article notes, “taking a hands-on approach to production is a stark contrast to the iPhone maker’s usual approach of providing display makers with screen specifications and leaving the actual production to them.”
The mass transfer step involves moving at least tens of thousands of tiny micro-LED chips onto substrates. Nikkei Asia says this process will be carried out at Apple’s secretive R&D facilities in the Longtan District in the northern Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the project.