MicroLED Apple Watch Ultra: According to a new Korean source, Apple could not have the supply chain ready to introduce the Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display by 2026, despite widespread expectations to the contrary.
The Taiwanese research firm TrendForce had the device’s introduction scheduled for 2026 for the better part of a year. Contrast that with multiple other publications, all of which have focused on the year 2025.
However, issues with high production yields and manufacturing costs continue to be the major hurdles to mass production of the microLED Apple Watch Ultra, as reported by The Elec. These concerns might potentially push the release date beyond 2026.
It has been stated that Apple has been developing a technique for bespoke microLED displays for nearly ten years. More realistic visuals appear to be “painted” onto the display glass thanks to the upgraded display’s efficiency, brightness, color reproduction, dynamic range, and viewing angles.
The present Apple Watch Ultra boasts a 1.93-inch display, while the forthcoming microLED version is anticipated to come with a 2.12-inch screen. The issue for Apple is that creating a screen with that many pixels per inch is still too expensive for a $799 smartphone.
Based on the report’s calculations, a 2.12-inch screen might cost as much as $150. This is four times more than the current cost of manufacturing an OLED panel, which is $38. Products with a $ 150-panel pricing typically sell for roughly $1,500 to consumers.
As an example, the 6.1-inch iPhone 15’s OLED display costs $80 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15’s display costs $120; both are more costly than $150.
The current panel cost puts the microLED Apple Watch Ultra above Apple’s most recent premium iPhones in terms of price. A release in 2027 for the device may be too optimistic, according to today’s news, because the issue is that difficult.
There have been rumors that Apple is planning to switch out all of its current light-emitting diode (LED) panels for microLED ones. This technology is believed to be compatible with the Apple Watch, as well as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Vision Pro headset.
The initiative is a component of Apple’s strategy to diversify its supply chain away from Samsung and take advantage of in-house display engineering. However, widespread use of micro LEDs may remain elusive until the corporation resolves its component supply chain issues.
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