Apple is gearing up to host its ‘Scary Fast’ event at the end of the month, where it is expected to unveil new MacBook Pro and iMac models. The Cupertino, California-based company is also reportedly working on refreshing its iPad and AirPods lineup next year. It might be some time, however, before we see the next generation Apple Watch Ultra. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple Watch Ultra 3 might not arrive in 2024.
At its ‘Wonderlust’ event in September, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, alongside its latest iPhone 15 series. While the second-generation of Apple’s top-of the-line smartwatch is out, work on Apple Watch Ultra 3 hasn’t begun, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Writing in his Medium blog, Kuo claimed that Apple was yet to officially start development on Apple Watch Ultra 3 — an unusual approach, considering the company’s product development schedule.
Kuo said that if Apple fails to begin work on Apple Watch Ultra 3 by December, it would all but confirm that the next Ultra smartwatch from the company would not be arriving in 2024. “I think Apple hasn’t officially kicked off Apple Watch Ultra 3 project because it needs more time to develop innovative health management features, ensure the manufacturability of new features, and address issues related to Micro LED production,” Kuo reasoned in his post.
The analyst also provided sales forecasts for the Apple Watch Ultra if a new model isn’t launched next year. Shipments for the high-end watch are expected to decline by 20–30 percent year-on-year in 2024, while total Apple Watch shipments could fall by 10 percent to about 35 million units, Kuo estimated.
While a new Ultra model for the Apple Watch might not arrive in 2024, Apple’s hands are full will a conveyor belt of products ready to hit the shelves next year. Earlier this week, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter that Apple plans to launch new iPad models around March 2024. The company is reportedly working on refreshes for iPad Air, the entry-level iPad, and iPad mini. Additionally, while the iPhone maker will likely unveil a refreshed 24-inch iMac at its upcoming event this month, a larger Pro version of the iMac with a 32-inch display will arrive in late 2024 or 2025.
The company is also reportedly planning a top-to-bottom refresh of its highly successful AirPods lineup. Gurman reported that Apple was readying two new fourth-generation AirPods and new version of the top-of-the line $549 (Rs. 59,900 in India) AirPods Max headphones for next year. The entire lineup of AirPods is also set to get USB Type-C charging, new design, and significant audio quality upgrades.
On Wednesday, Apple also rolled out watchOS 10.1, bringing the new double tap feature to its latest smartwatches. With the update, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 users can now tap their index finger and thumb together twice to answer a call, reply to a message, and perform several other actions.