Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display canceled, employees laid off: Ming-Chi Kuo


Apple has long been rumored to be working on a MicroLED display for its flagship Watch Ultra smartwatch. Last month, reports said the Cupertino, California-based company had delayed the Apple Watch Ultra with MicroLED display beyond 2026 due to supply chain issues. Now, the iPhone maker is said to have canceled the project altogether. According to a reliable analyst, Apple has abandoned the project as it is struggling to make the product economically viable and has fired several people from the development team.

This information comes from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed in a post on Xpress late Friday that Apple has canceled the MicroLED Apple Watch Ultra project. Kuo said Apple was struggling to see how a high-end display would bring value to the watch as production costs on the project continued to rise. The analyst claimed, “…Apple feels that Micro LED cannot add significant value to this product, and the production costs are too high to make it economically viable.”

Kuo also said that Apple has fired “several people” from the microLED development team. Apple has not confirmed the development and it is unclear how many employees have been laid off. “There is currently no visibility on any projects related to micro LEDs,” Kuo said.

The report of the cancellation of the microLED Apple Watch Ultra project, if true, would be another blow to the company's ambitions, as Apple canceled its decade-long electric car project earlier this week. “This is undoubtedly a major blow to Apple, which hopes to own the next generation of display technology to make its products more competitive,” Kuo said.

According to Kuo, Austrian manufacturer ASM-OSRAM was Apple's exclusive LED chip supplier for MicroLED. Now, with the project canceled, Apple does not intend to manufacture microLED-equipped devices in the near future, Kuo said.

An official update from Osram also hints at the cancellation of the MicroLED Apple Watch project. The company said in a press release (as seen by GSMArena) that it was “reevaluating its microLED strategy after the cornerstone project underpinning its microLED strategy was unexpectedly cancelled.”

Last month, a Korean publication reported that the Apple Watch with a MicroLED display has been delayed beyond 2026, with a 2027 release also not certain. The report states that Apple was not able to finalize the component supply chain needed to make MicroLED displays for the Watch Ultra.

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