Waiting for the Apple Watch Ultra 2? It looks like Ultra 3 might be the bigger deal

Apple Watch Ultra in use on wrist and on table
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Apple Watch Ultra already has the best screen out of any Apple Watch models so far, but if rumors are true, future iterations are about to take things to another level entirely. Apple is reportedly working on a new “microLED” display, and it sounds as though Apple Watch users will be the first to benefit. 

The best Apple Watches currently use OLED displays, which look great and are among the best-looking displays any of the best smartwatches have to offer. Apple sources these from LG Display. But according to tech supply chain reporters Digitimes Asia, Apple is working on a new kind of microLED display, much brighter, longer-lasting, and more efficient than its current screen tech. 

The report, as found on MacRumors, states that “starting with Apple Watch, Apple plans to further introduce microLED display to iPhone and iPad.” The report says that Apple Watch Ultra sequels won’t use the old OLED display by “end-2024 or 2025, as it will be replaced by Apple's self-developed microLED display”. 

As the most expensive model in the Apple Watch range, it makes sense that the Apple Watch Ultra will be the first to benefit from this new, cutting-edge screen tech, followed presumably by Pro versions of the iPhone and iPad. As the technology isn’t expected until late 2024 or 2025, it’s likely the microLED screen technology won’t be ready in time for the development of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – instead, it’s the Apple Watch Ultra 3 that may see the upgrade first, assuming the earlier 2024 date happens. 

Analysis: Screen time

Apple Watch Ultra in use on wrist and on table

(Image credit: TechRadar)

This isn’t the only Apple Watch screen rumor we’ve reported on, even in the last 24 hours, with the development of new ViP OLED screens being perfect for future Apple Watches

Apple is always looking for ways to push the boundaries, and each iteration of the Watch usually has a few new standout features while retaining what worked in the last generation. For example, Apple Watch 9 is rumored to be getting a boost in processing power

It’s not much of a stretch to see Apple boasting about its incredible new microLED screen technology for the Apple Watch Ultra 3 in 2024, especially if it’s developed in-house (which means no one else will have it) and it’s coming to other Apple devices. 

All this means that if you’re waiting patiently for an Apple Watch Ultra 2, it’s worth keeping an eye on the rumor mill. The Ultra 2 might be a pretty iterative update, with the Ultra 3 being a bigger departure from the original with an incredible new screen. Don’t get buyer’s remorse…

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.