It seems like we’re not going to have to wait much longer to see the Apple Watch Ultra 2: one of the more reliable Apple tipsters has predicted that it’s coming later this year, and that it’ll contain some 3D printed parts.
This comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), and it sounds as though the parts in question are going to be made of titanium. According to Kuo, Apple is “actively adopting 3D printing technology” and may use it in other products in the future too.
We’re talking several levels above the 3D printing technology available to consumers of course: at an industrial scale, the move could save Apple money on production costs and speed up the manufacturing process at the same time.
Kuo mentions “mechanical parts” for 3D printing – going off the original Apple Watch Ultra, that would be the Digital Crown, the Side Button, and the Action Button. These parts are currently manufactured using a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) process.
Watch this space
As interesting as Apple’s reported manufacturing decisions are, they don’t really tell us much more about what to expect from the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – though there’s maybe a chance that lower production costs will mean a lower retail price.
The original Apple Watch Ultra certainly isn’t cheap, with a starting price of $799 / £849 / AU$1,229. For comparison, you can pick up the standard Apple Watch 8 for a relatively cheap starting price of $399 / £419 / AU$629 – about half the price.
There has been talk that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is going to show up in September, alongside the iPhone 15 and the Apple Watch 9. From what Ming-Chi Kuo has added here, that looks like a safe bet at this point.
Unfortunately, the upgrade looks like it’s going to be a relatively minor one, with a switch to a slightly better display technology one of very few improvements that have been mooted. In fact, the Apple Watch Ultra 3 might be the upgrade to wait for.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.