Apple Ditches MicroLED for Apple Watch Ultra Due to Cost and Yield Problems

It was anticipated that the upcoming Apple Watch Ultra upgrade would switch to microLED technology, but a major setback may have derailed those plans, according to a recent report. Put simply, the corporation may have gone further than planned in pursuing its goal of releasing its first microLED product.

The statement from ams OSRAM AG regarding the “cancellation of a key project” is included below; however, it is unclear whether this refers to the Apple Watch Ultra. The supplier’s stock price fell 40% shortly after the announcement, indicating that the majority of its anticipated income may have been dependent on the successful mass production of microLED panels.

“The Management Board of ams OSRAM AG has decided to re-assess the microLED strategy of the company after having been informed of the unexpected cancellation of a cornerstone project for its microLED program. Discussions with the related customer are ongoing.”

Display Supply Chain Consultants at Counterpoint Research later told MacRumors that the microLED Apple Watch Ultra’s cancellation may have been caused by the display technology’s high manufacturing costs and low production yields.

Apple Watch Ultra | Unsplash

Cost Effectiveness

According to estimates, microLED panels are around three times more expensive than OLED panels. As such, it is improbable that the Apple Watch Ultra would have been offered for sale at the same price as its predecessor if it had been introduced with these more advanced panels.

In response to a question about the situation, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated today that the project has been canceled for the “foreseeable future.” According to the expert, the present prices of producing microLEDs are “too high” to make the idea “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,” Kuo stated.

Kuo claims that at the time of the project’s cancellation, ams OSRAM served as Apple’s sole supplier of LED chips. For the “foreseeable future,” Apple has “no plans” to mass-produce microLED products, according to the expert.

Kuo called the cancellation a “major setback” for Apple and said some staff members working on microLED development had been let go.

While Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the sole supplier for Apple’s MicroLED lineup was ams OSRAM, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman states this is wrong. In a replied tweet to MacRumors, Mark stated that ams OSRAM was “one” of the suppliers that had stopped these production plans but the project hasn’t been stopped as of yet.

There has been no official confirmation from Apple regarding these rumors, so take all of this with a grain of salt. Do let us know what you think about the cancellation in the comments below.


Farhan Ali

Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.