When the Apple Watch Ultra arrived last year, it immediately took the crown for Apple’s biggest and brightest wearable, with a 49mm display and a max brightness of 2,000 nits. Now a new report claims Apple is working on a new smartwatch for 2024 that will be even brighter with a much larger screen.
In a research note for Haitong International Securities (via MacRumors), analyst Jeff Pu says the new device will feature a micro-LED display, something never previously seen on an Apple Watch. This will enable the screen to be brighter than the OLED versions on current models; even that of the Apple Watch Ultra, which offers up to 2,000 nits for improved outdoor usability.
Pu doesn’t specifically say that this watch would be a new model of the Ultra, but it seems likely that it would be. Thus, the report suggests that the Apple Watch Ultra could be on a two-year cycle like the Apple Watch SE.
The upgraded screen will also be larger than that of the current Ultra, which was itself the biggest ever Apple Watch screen when it launched in fall 2022. Pu says the 2024 model will reportedly jump to a diagonal measurement of 2.1 inches, which would be a huge increase. The Ultra’s screen measures 1.92 inches diagonally, compared to 1.9 inches for the largest versions of the Series 7 and 8. This might seem disappointing given how much larger the Ultra’s chassis is, but the extra bulk is mostly taken up by a larger battery, an extra button, and physical reinforcements to make it more robust.
With 2023 barely underway, it’s early days for 2024 rumors, and worth bearing in mind that even currently sound information could fall down as Apple’s plans change. For that matter, Pu has a spotty predictive record–from a relatively small number of calls, he’s sitting on an AppleTrack accuracy rating of just 50 percent, and he missed on several iPhone 14 rumors, including increased storage and the addition of ProMotion to the non-Pro iPhone models. We’d rate this prediction as somewhat plausible, but it will remain in the “pinch of salt” category until we get some corroboration.
Pu’s research note also says Apple is developing a new AirPods Lite, a lower-priced version of Apple’s wireless earbuds intended to compete with budget rivals.