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No Apple Watch Ultra 3 in development, says Kuo

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple has not begun developing a third generation of the Apple Watch Ultra, and so it's unlikely it will release one in 2024.

Apple made no visible changes to the Apple Watch Ultra when it unveiled a second-edition in 2023, but arguably it didn't have to. Apple Watch Ultra 2 is faster than its predecessor, though, plus it has a brighter screen and — now with watchOS 10.1watchOS 10 — it has Double Tap.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, though, there is as yet no development work being done for what would presumably be called the Apple Watch Ultra 3.

"As of now, Apple has yet to kick off the Apple Watch Ultra 3 development officially," he reported on his blog. "It is unusual given the product development schedule."

"If Apple doesn't officially kick off the Apple Watch Ultra 3 project by December, it's almost confirmed that we won't see a new Apple Watch Ultra in 2024," he continued.

Kuo's reports tend now to be a mix of supply chain information and extrapolation based on his experience covering Apple. It's not clear how certain the lack of development is, but Kuo is surmising that he knows the reason.

"I think Apple hasn't officially kicked off Apple Watch Ultra 3 project," he said, "because it needs more time to develop innovative health management features, ensure the manufacturability of new features, and address issues related to Micro LED production."

However, Kuo also predicts that the lack of an updated 2024 Apple Watch Ultra will hurt sales. He says that unless there is an update, "shipments of the Apple Watch Ultra are expected to decline by 20— 30% YoY in 2024, and the total Apple Watch shipments will decline by 10% YoY in 2024 to about 35 million units."

Kuo's reports and predictions back up a recent leak suggesting that the next Apple Watch Ultra would be released in 2025. That rumor specifically said that the next update would feature a microLED screen.

With a microLED screen, the Watch's display recent leak">could be up to 30 times brighter than the current OLED. At the same time, it would be more power efficient, and so help the Apple Watch Ultra's battery life.