Kuo: Apple Watch Ultra With MicroLED Display Indeed Canceled

Earlier this week, Apple supplier ams OSRAM announced it would "re-assess its microLED strategy" after a "cornerstone project" was "unexpectedly cancelled." Counterpoint Research's Display Supply Chain Consultants informed MacRumors that this project related to the rumored Apple Watch with a microLED display.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 hero feature white
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today commented on the matter, saying that Apple has indeed canceled the project for the "foreseeable future." The analyst said that microLED production costs are currently "too high" for the project to be "economically viable."

"My latest survey indicates that Apple has canceled the Micro LED Apple Watch projects because Apple thinks that Micro LED can't add significant value to this product, and the production costs are too high to make it economically viable," said Kuo.

ams OSRAM was Apple's exclusive LED chip supplier for the project at the time it was canceled, according to Kuo. Apple has "no plans" to mass-produce microLED devices for the "foreseeable future," the analyst said.

Kuo described the cancellation as a "major setback" for Apple, and he said many employees involved with microLED development have been laid off.

While the project may be shelved for now, Apple likely still hopes to eventually transition to microLED technology in the future. Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today said that while ams OSRAM was Apple's "sole chip supplier" for the Apple Watch Ultra project, Taiwan and South Korea have a "robust lineup of manufacturers for Micro LED chips, backplanes, and related transfer processes," so there are other suppliers that Apple could partner with in the future. In any case, it appears that Apple's first microLED device is several years away.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra 2
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

Abobrek Avatar
19 weeks ago
Good. Now Apple can focus on important products like AirPods with cameras and HomePods with screens.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannys1 Avatar
19 weeks ago
I'm not sure what benefit it would add? Potentially increase brightness over OLED, but there's been no scenario where i can't see my watch face - even whilst swimming in the Caribbean sea!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LV426 Avatar
19 weeks ago
This kind of thing normally happens in a business when some bigwig in management is getting prepared to dump a load of shares.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
19 weeks ago
Looks like this is the way the “don’t call it a recession” is finally affecting Apple.

They haven’t announced mass layoffs, but then again they rarely announce anything.

But if it must be done, it seems they are trimming the right fat.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xxray Avatar
19 weeks ago
OLED is already doing a lot of the things that made microLED appealing. Getting brighter, getting more efficient, and reducing the risk of burn-in. I really don’t know what microLED can do to make that big of a difference. And if it’s still really expensive, it makes sense it’d be cancelled.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Godspeed8230 Avatar
19 weeks ago
I am from Austria and this is a giant blow to Ams-Osram. They built an € 800 million plant in Malaysia only for Apple to cancel this order. Not good. Didn't they properly plan this in advance?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)