Apple Watch Ultra MicroLED Display Said to be Delayed Until 2026

Apple Watch Ultra MicroLED Display Said to be Delayed Until 2026

Market research firm Trendforce (via The Elec), says Apple’s plans to update the Apple Watch Ultra with a next-generation microLED display have been delayed, due to manufacturing issues.

In April, display industry analyst Ross Young indicated that the launch of an Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display would be delayed until the second half of 2025 at the earliest, rather than late 2024 as was originally rumored.

Now, Trendforce says it appears that the new model has been postponed for a second time and is unlikely to debut before the first quarter of 2026. The publication says the delay is due to issues relating to high manufacturing costs which need to be solved before Apple can begin mass production.

Apple has reportedly invested more than $1 billion on in-house microLED development over the past decade. The Cupertino firm is looking for ways to reduce its dependence on Samsung Display and tighten control over the supply of key components in the display panel sector.

Unless there are further delays, the Apple Watch Ultra will likely be the first Apple device to be equipped with a microLED display. The current ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ uses standard OLED technology.

Production of microLED displays remains challenging and manufacturing costs are higher, which is why Apple will first use the display technology with the Apple Watch Ultra before ultimately rolling the microLED displays out to the iPhones.

The microLED display technology has several advantages over OLED displays, including higher brightness, decreased power consumption, improved contrast ratio, and other benefits. There is also much less risk of screen burn-in, and microLEDs have a longer potential lifetime.

As always, take reports like this with a grain of your favorite low-sodium seasoning, nothing is for sure until Apple officially unveils its first microLED Apple Watch Ultra.