The Apple rumour factory got off to a good start in 2023, with reports that Apple was working on a microLED Apple Watch Ultra. A new report from respected trade site Digitimes says the same, and it also says that Apple plans to extend the technology to a wide range of products – not just the Apple Watch Ultra but the iPhone, iPad and MacBook too.
According to the report, as spotted by MacRumors, Apple has been actively developing microLED displays since it bought display firm LuxVue in 2014. As with other display technologies microLED is proving to be challenging to make at first, and as a result it's going to be quite expensive to produce for some time yet. That's why Apple's initial plans for the tech are for the most expensive version of its smallest device: the Apple Watch Ultra.
Why we think microLED is really happening
A lot of Apple rumours are sketchy and single-sourced, but reports of microLED Apple Watches have been coming from multiple sources with reliable track records: Digitimes, of course, but also Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, display analyst Ross Young and international securities analyst Jeff Pu, among others.
Those voices are all saying much the same thing, which is that the microLED Apple Watch Ultra is intended for a late 2024 release but that at the moment 2025 seems more likely.
In the meantime, Apple is upgrading more of its displays from LCD to OLED. That's been in every Apple Watch since the very first generation, and iPhones started getting the tech in 2017. As we previously reported, Apple is widely expected to release its first OLED MacBook in 2024. An OLED iPad Pro is also in development, although unfortunately some reports suggest it could mean a serious price hike for Apple's premium tablet.