Apple Watch is getting a "major" redesign — but not this year

Apple Watch Series 8
(Image credit: Apple)

A new report says that the Apple Watch is set for a "major" hardware update in 2024 following a "more modest" 2023.

According to top insider Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, Apple is planning "a major update to the watch hardware in 2024" which will include a "larger, custom-built display." According to Gurman Apple Watch Series 9 will mark a more modest year" after a bumper 2022 saw the advent of three brand new models including the current best Apple Watch, the Apple Watch UItra.

To offset the quiet year on the hardware front, Gurman reports that watchOS 10 could be the biggest update to Apple Watch in years, with "notable" user interface changes on the way.

Apple Watch Display upgrade

This isn't the first time we've heard rumblings of a big upgrade coming to the Apple Watch. Earlier this year, top display analyst and insider Ross Young reported that the Apple Watch Ultra would get a microLED display by 2025. "While everyone else reported that the MicroLED Apple Watch would launch in 2024, we remained steadfast that it would be 2025," Young tweeted in February, noting that supplier Osram expects to report revenue from microLED technology in 2025. 

It's not clear in this instance whether Gurman's latest report is referring to this touted microLED upgrade, or something else. However, it seems unlikely that Apple would make two major display upgrades to the Apple Watch two years running, so it seems more likely this is the same story. 

Apple Watch models currently use LTPO OLED panels which enable a variable refresh rate that powers the always-on display feature. A microLED display would offer greater efficiency and brightness, improving both Apple Watch battery life and screen visibility while also extending the display's lifespan. 

As noted, however, you're going to have to wait at least another year for this upgrade, or perhaps even longer. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9