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Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display rumored to have hit another roadblock

Apple Watch Ultra

For the third year running, the rumor mill is saying that Apple has to push back releasing an Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display another year, this time until 2027.

Following the first two generations of the Apple Watch Ultra, it was reported that there would not be a third the next year, as might have been expected. It was then suspected that the delay of Apple Watch Ultra 3 to perhaps 2025 would have been at least in part because of difficulties making microLED screens.

Later, similar reports of LG buying patents to speed up the process of developing microLED screens were followed by news that a 2026 date was more likely.

Now The Elec says that industry sources believe that even a 2027 release date is uncertain. The publication says that as yet Apple has not been able to finalize the component supply chain.

It's also claimed that the barrier to producing microLED screens is cost rather than technical constraints. The Elec says that Apple's simulations of manufacturing and estimates of production yields mean an Apple Watch Ultra 3 screen would cost $150 to make.

That estimated cost is for a similar 2-inch display as used now. The current Apple Watch Ultra screen is believed to cost Apple $38 per screen.

The Elec estimates that at this price, Apple would sell a microLED Apple Watch Ultra for around $1,500.

A microLED screen uses miniature LEDs to create the display grid. It means that such a screen would be 30 times brighter than the current Apple Watch Ultra's OLED display.

Note that The Elec is a decent source of information from within Apple's supply chain, but it is less accurate in predictions it forms about what Apple will do. Friday's report is more of the latter.