Last month, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 was officially unveiled, a year after its predecessor, the original Ultra. Against this background, one should actually assume that the Apple Watch Ultra 3 will come onto the market together with the iPhone 16 generation in September 2024. Apparently the situation is not quite so clear. Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today that the Californians have not yet started working on the next rugged Apple Watch. And that is anything but a good sign.
Since the development cycle takes several months, Kuo said it was “unusual” that Apple had not started work yet. This should mean that this time last year the Apple Watch Ultra 2 was already being worked on. If Apple doesn’t start developing the Ultra 3 by December, Kuo says it’s “almost confirmed” that we won’t see a new Apple Watch Ultra 3 in 2024.
Kuo speculates that this could be because Apple needs more time to develop “innovative health management features”. Apple also wants to make the hardware platform more developer-friendly and address issues related to micro-LED production.
Without a new Apple Watch Ultra 3 in 2024, production of the Ultra series next year is expected to decline by around 20-30% compared to 2023. Overall Apple Watch sales will decline by about 10% next year compared to 2023. This would mean that Apple would settle at around 35 million units.
Of course, most of this is speculation, even if it comes from a reliable source. Plus, Apple still has around a month to start developing the next Ultra. After that, things get difficult with the usual starting window.