Apple Watch Ultra 3 will be almost identical to previous watches, says industry expert

Apple Watch Ultra beside Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 (right) looks identical to its predecessor until you turn on the display. (Image credit: Future)

Hopefully you like the look of the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2, because it sounds like the next version is going to give us more of the same.

This week, Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has over 10 years of experience reporting on the company, told MacRumors that there would be "almost no" hardware upgrades when the new watch makes its debut later this year.

Previously, industry experts including Kuo and Bloomberg's Mike Gurman had predicted that a future edition of the Apple Watch Ultra may feature a microLED display rather than AMOLED, which would offer improved viewing angles, higher contrast, and greater efficiency compared to AMOLED.

However, opinion on the subject has now shifted, and there's now a widely-held belief that Apple has put its plans for proprietary microLED displays on hold

It had previously been rumored that Apple might skip a year and hold off until 2025 to release the Apple Watch Ultra 3, but now experts seem to believe it will press ahead, even if the changes are only very minor.

That will come as a disappointment to anyone hoping for a similar upgrade to the one Apple delivered last year.

Although they look identical at first glance, there are some significant hardware differences between the Apple Watch Ultra and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. First there's the display, which is 50% brighter than that of the original watch on its maximum setting. Second, there's a new processor tucked inside, which facilitates features like Double-Tap gestures. Finally, there's the case, which has the same design, but is now made of recycled titanium.

Watch and wait

The new device will likely be revealed at the company's annual product showcase in September, when CEO Tim Cook is also expected to reveal the next generation of iPhones, plus the Apple Watch Series 10.

Gurman has suggested that the Apple Watch Series 10 may be able to detect hypertension and sleep apnea more accurately than watches that use an optical heart rate sensor to estimate blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), but we'll have to wait until the event to find out for sure. 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.