Reviews - February 8, 2024

According to leaked information, the next evolution of Apple Watch appears to have been significantly delayed.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a fairly modest upgrade to what was already the best Apple Watch in the lineup, but as always, we’re looking for what’s next. Apple reportedly plans to roll out microLED displays across multiple product lines, including the iPad and Mac, but it also plans to bring them to the Apple Watch Ultra, replacing existing OLED panels.

As analysts like Ross Young predicted (thanks MacRumors), we originally expected the new display to launch in the Ultra lineup in 2025, but a new report from The Elec (via MacRumors) suggests that the MicroLED Apple Watch will be launching soon. It’s highly likely. There were delays due to manufacturing cost and production yield issues. The report said it would likely move past 2026 and into 2027, and even that date may be overly optimistic.

They also suggest that microLED Ultra will move from 1.93-inch screens to 2.12-inch screens, but the demand for higher pixel density is driving up prices, with a simulated yield of $150 per display. This is approximately four times the cost of the display. One OLED.

Given that the Ultra already costs $799, Apple seems uncomfortable seeing a significant price increase to allow for a microLED display. But things can change, and this sudden mystery rumor runs counter to every message sent by leakers in the past.

Analysis: What is MicroLED?

Don’t confuse this with the Mini LED that Apple is already using in the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. The microLED display offers better contrast and color reproduction. Experts often quote that the images appear as if they were “painted” on the screen.

microLED panels also use less energy. This is important for devices like the Apple Watch, which can last longer, but longer iPhone, iPad, and Mac battery life doesn’t hurt either.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2’s OLED display has improved brightness from the original’s 2,000 nits to 3,000 nits, making it the best screen on an Apple Watch to date.

The Apple Watch Series 9 also saw an increase to 2,000 nits, which shows that Apple is looking at improvements across displays.

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