Apple could be making a micro-LED Apple Watch – and more affordable AirPods too

The Apple rumour factory is off to a strong start in 2023, predicting affordable AirPods and a smarter smartwatch

Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to Apple products, there's often a very blurry line between rumours and informed speculation. The former tends to be what you'll find from oddly named people on Twitter, and the latter often comes from well-connected industry analysts whose contacts have told them things off the record. I'm hoping the latest Apple Watch and AirPods rumours are the latter.

According to tech analyst Jeff Pu as reported by MacRumors (opens in new tab), Apple is working on two important products for 2024: lower-priced AirPods, and a brand new Apple Watch Ultra with a micro-LED display.

Why we're taking these predictions with a big pinch of salt

According to Pu, the new Apple Watch will be a high-end model – most likely the Ultra – with a 2.1-inch micro-LED display. That's very slightly larger than the one in the current Ultra, which is 1.92 inches. The main advantage of micro-LED is significantly improved brightness without increased power drain, making it an ideal option for wearables such as the Apple Watch.

If Apple is indeed moving to micro-LED, I doubt we'll see it in the standard Apple Watch models: it's a good way to differentiate the Ultra, much as Apple has done with the always-on displays in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As for the AirPods, while Pu calls them "AirPods Lite" it's highly unlikely that Apple would use such branding – but unfortunately Pu has very little other information to share other than that these AirPods would be priced lower in order to compete with the best true wireless earbuds from other firms. 

As MacRumors points out, Pu has a "mixed" track record with Apple predictions – and as these are the first we've heard of either a micro-LED Apple Watch or cheaper AirPods, we should probably curb our enthusiasm: even if Pu is right, Apple's plans could well change between now and the likely late-2024 launch of these predicted products. 

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).