After a first model launched last year, Apple could launch an Apple Watch Ultra as early as this Tuesday, September 12. A few hours before its official presentation, we take stock of the rumors.
In 2022, Apple launched a new range for its connected watches. After the Apple Watch Series and SE modelsthe American manufacturer launched theApple Watch Ultraa connected watch particularly high-end, launched at 999 euros and available only in 49 mm version. Focusing above all on autonomy and sporting performance, it could be entitled to a successor this year with theApple Watch Ultra 2 – Or Apple Watch Ultra (2023).
Until the presentation of this new connected watch, the announcement of which should take place this Tuesday September 12 from 7 p.m.we take stock of all the rumors about the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
A second Apple Watch Ultra planned for this year
The first to speak out about the announcement of a new Apple Watch Ultra is none other than the journalist Mark Gurman from the agency Bloomberg. At the end of June, he indicated, in fact, in its newsletter Power On that Apple will announce in the fall not only new iPhones, but also “two Apple Watch Series 9 models and an updated version of the Ultra (the watches are known under the code names N207, N208 and N210 )”.
During the summer, new information suggested that Apple would indeed be preparing a new Apple Watch Ultra this year.
An Apple Watch Ultra 2 with a similar design
The first Apple Watch Ultra of the name distinguished itself from the Apple Watch Series 8 by its much more massive format. It must be said that if the Series 8 was available in 41 and 45 mm versions, the Apple Watch Ultra was only available in 49 mm version. In addition to its much larger format, the watch also benefited from a second physical button called “ Action Button“. The case was also designed in titanium with sapphire glass for screen protection, versus aluminum or steel and Ion-X glass or sapphire glass for the Apple Watch Series 8.
It is precisely this adventurous aspect of the first generation Apple Watch Ultra and it seems likely that the manufacturer will persist in this choice for its second generation. However, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is expected to bring some changes, especially to the case design.
In mid-July, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities revealed thatApple would have chosen 3D printing for certain elements of the titanium case of its new watch: “Apple is actively adopting 3D printing technology and the titanium mechanical parts of the Apple Watch Ultra, scheduled for the second half of 2023, will be made using 3D printing“. This difference should not change anything for consumers, but would allow Apple to reduce the cost of producing its watches.
Another area of improvement for Apple could be to offer more colors to its next watch. The first version was only available in silver, with three default strap choices. If nothing suggests it for the moment, we can nevertheless hope that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be available in several shades, like the Series 8, offered in black, gold, silver or red.
A new watchOS 10 interface on the 2nd generation Apple Watch Ultra
Like every year, and with each new generation of connected watch, the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 should benefit from a major update of watchOSthe operating system used in Apple’s connected watches.
This year it is watchOS 10 which will land on the manufacturer’s watches, a version already largely presented at Apple’s WWDC conference last June. Among the new features presented, the manufacturer is counting in particular on the integration of maps on the home dial. Like widgets on iPhone, they allow you to discover certain information at a glance and scroll through it quickly. This “smart battery» will also be updated based on different criteria and your habits. Another new feature is the arrival of new training measures for cyclists, notably power threshold management (FTP). Also for hiking, watchOS 10 will integrate a new compass dial with 3D topography display. A function which could prove particularly useful for the Watch Ultra 2 and its orientation towards outdoor sports.
Beyond the software, the components should also be improved with the integration of a new generation chip, integrated into both the Watch Ultra and the Watch Series 9. As a reminder, each new generation of Apple Watch brings its new chip and, after last year’s Apple S8 chip, we should logically be entitled to an Apple S9 chip on the new versions.
This chip would however be special since, according to information from journalist Mark Gurman, Apple would have adapted not a watch processor, but a smartphone processor. The Apple S9 would in fact be based on the Apple A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro. Enough to allow, in theory, a big gain in terms of performance, or even better energy efficiency. As a reminder, this chip benefited from a 5 nm engraving process.
A still Oled screen for the Apple Watch Ultra 2
For months, one of the biggest rumors about the next generations of Apple Watch Ultra has been about their display technology. While the first model integrated an Oled screen, Apple would work hard to integrate one MicroLED screen on its future Apple Watch Ultra.
It was in fact analyst Jeff Pu who came out of the woods last January, announcing that Apple would develop a Apple Watch Ultra with MicroLED display with a slightly larger diagonal, going from 1.9 to 2.1 inches. As a reminder, microLED technology retains the same advantages as Oled, namely an infinite contrast rate and a wide color range, but without its defects. Screens can thus achieve even higher brightness levels and a much longer lifespan, without the risk of marking.
Finally, if Apple seems to be working well on this type of panel internally – notably without Samsung — the technology does not yet seem ready. The Korean siteThe Elec, generally very well informed about the production lines, indicates that Apple is experiencing major problems and a far too high error rate in the manufacturing of its panels. Enough to postpone the launch of this type of screen not to 2024, but potentially for the Apple Watch Ultra of 2025.
Until then, for the Apple Watch Ultra 2 of 2023, we can therefore expect a screen similar to that of the first generation. As a reminder, the watch still had an excellent quality screen, since it was the first for a connected watch to be able to go up to a brightness of 2000 cd/m². A brightness rate now also achieved by Samsung with its Galaxy Watch 6 And Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Apple Watch Ultra 2023 price and release date
To know when the second generation Apple Watch Ultra will be announced, you just need to know when the next iPhone 15 will be announced. For several years, Apple has in fact grouped the announcement of its watches with that of its new smartphones.
For 2023, Apple finally announced, on August 29, the date of presentation of its new products. So it will be this Tuesday September 12 at 7 p.m. Paris time. The conference could be followed live on Frandroid. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 should then be available in the following weeks – last year, two weeks separated the announcement of the Apple Watch Ultra from its sale.
As for the expected price for this new generation, no information has leaked so far. Since last year’s model was launched at 999 euros, we can however assume, without taking too much risk, that the Apple Watch Ultra will be available at a similar price, or even a little higher. We wouldn’t be surprised if the price exceeded 1000 euros this time at launch.