Apple introduced the game-changing Apple Watch Ultra alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 last year, radically departing from its traditional watch lineup. With Apple’s track record of releasing new watch models each fall, the question arises: Will we see the Apple Watch Ultra 2 in 2023?
The Apple Watch Series 9 will likely bring incremental improvements to the Series lineup without infringing on the Ultra line. The Apple Watch Ultra already outshines the Series 8 in several aspects. It boasts a brighter display, longer battery life, more powerful microphones, and a customizable Action button. It will take significant iterations for the smaller and sleeker Series line to catch up to the current Ultra lineup in terms of battery life. The added battery capacity also contributes to the screen’s increased brightness.
Enhancements in communication quality, improved resistance to elements, or the inclusion of an “Action” button in the Series line would still keep the Ultra line ahead in terms of technical advancement without any significant revisions.
However, introducing a dark color option is one notable change that could come to the Apple Watch Ultra without requiring a hardware upgrade. The Series line is known for its various finishes and materials, and Apple has previously offered both light and dark titanium finishes. A darker Apple Watch Ultra would add visual variety and create the illusion of thinner bezels around the display. The frame’s thickness in the Ultra line remains one of the design limitations compared to the Series line.
While reducing the bezels in the Ultra lineup is possible, making such a design change from year to year seems aggressive based on Apple’s typical update patterns for watches and phones.
Until recently, it seemed most likely that the Ultra line in 2023 would offer a darker color option without any internal revisions. However, a recent Bloomberg report suggests a potential processor upgrade for the Apple Watch Series 9.
While there are several differences between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, processing power is not one of them. The Apple Watch Ultra operates similarly to the Apple Watch Series 6 and 7, as Apple hasn’t increased the watch’s speed since then. The Apple Watch doesn’t require the same processing capabilities as iPhones or Macs, and the focus has been on improving battery life, which benefits users more.
However, the need for increased speed may arise with the Apple Watch in the coming months, and there’s nothing wrong with equipping the device with future-proof hardware to accommodate potential new features.
According to reports, starting with watchOS 10, Apple plans to revamp the watch’s software, emphasizing widgets and multiple update dashboards more than static status images. While existing Apple Watches will likely receive the same features, future watches may execute these tasks more seamlessly.
Will there be noticeable differences? Perhaps, but drastic performance improvements shouldn’t be expected. With that in mind, it’s perfectly reasonable to continue enjoying the Apple Watch unless you want a darker color option. However, there’s no guarantee that the elusive black Apple Watch Ultra will debut in 2023.