Last month the Apple Watch Ultra 2 became official, one year after its predecessor, the original Ultra. With that in mind, you might be expecting the Apple Watch Ultra 3 to be announced alongside the iPhone 16 generation in September of 2024.
That would be a logical assumption, but it turns out it might actually be wrong. Famous Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today says the company hasn’t yet started working on the next Apple Watch Ultra, and that’s a bad sign.
It’s “unusual”, he says, given how long the development cycle is. We assume this means that by this time last year, the Ultra 2 was already being worked on. According to Kuo, if Apple doesn’t start developing the Ultra 3 by December, it’s “almost confirmed” that we won’t see a new Apple Watch Ultra in 2024.
Kuo speculates that this could be down to Apple needing more time for developing “innovative health management features”, ensure “the manufacturability of new features”, and address issues relating to Micro LED production.
Without the Ultra 3 coming out in 2024, shipments of the Ultra series are expected to decline by around 20-30% next year compared to 2023, and the total Apple Watch shipments will decline by around 10% next year compared to this one, down to a total of about 35 million units.
Of course, this is mostly speculation, even though it does come from a reliable source. The thing is – Apple still has a month or so to commence the development of the next Ultra in order for it to make the usual launch window, so don’t rule it out completely just yet.