Last month, Apple officially introduced the Apple Watch Ultra 2, a year after its predecessor, the original Ultra. Naturally, one might have expected an announcement about the Apple Watch Ultra 3 alongside the iPhone 16 generation in September 2024.
However, it appears this assumption may be incorrect. Ming-Chi Kuo, a renowned Apple supply chain analyst, recently revealed that Apple has not yet commenced work on the next iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra, and this is raising concerns.
Kuo describes this situation as “unusual,” particularly considering the extended development timeline typical for Apple products. This suggests that by this time last year, work on the Ultra 2 was already underway. According to Kuo, if Apple does not initiate development of the Ultra 3 by December, it is “almost confirmed” that there won’t be a new Apple Watch Ultra in 2024.
Kuo speculates that this delay may be due to Apple requiring more time to develop “innovative health management features,” ensure the “manufacturability of new features,” and address issues related to Micro LED production.
In the absence of the Ultra 3 in 2024, shipments of the Ultra series are expected to decrease by approximately 20-30% compared to 2023. Furthermore, the overall Apple Watch shipments are predicted to decline by approximately 10% next year compared to the current year, resulting in a total of around 35 million units.
It’s important to note that this information is largely based on speculation, even though it originates from a reputable source. It’s worth mentioning that Apple still has roughly a month to begin development on the next Ultra, allowing it to meet its usual launch timeframe. Therefore, a potential release should not be ruled out entirely at this point.