Apple Watch Ultra With microLED Display Cancelled, Employees Laid Off: Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple has long been rumoured to be working on microLED displays for its flagship Watch Ultra smartwatch. Last month, reports said that the Cupertino, California-based company had delayed the Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display beyond 2026 over supply chain issues. Now, the iPhone maker is said to have cancelled the project altogether. According to a reliable analyst, Apple has abandoned the project as it struggled to make the product economically viable and has also laid off several people from the development team.

The information comes from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed in a post on X late Friday that Apple had scrapped the microLED Apple Watch Ultra project. Apple was struggling to see how the high-end displays would bring value to the watch as production costs on the project kept climbing, Kuo said. “… 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,” the analyst claimed.

Kuo also said that Apple had laid off “many people” from the microLED development team. Apple has not confirmed the development and it is unclear how many employees have been laid off. “There’s currently no visibility on any Micro LED-related projects,” Kuo added.

The reported cancellation of the microLED Apple Watch Ultra project, if true, would represent yet another blow to the company’s ambitions after Apple scrapped its decade-long electric car project earlier this week. “It’s undoubtedly a major setback for 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 microLEDs. Now, with the project cancelled, Apple does not intend to manufacture microLED-equipped devices in the foreseeable future, Kuo added.

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

Last month, a Korean publication reported that the Apple Watch with a microLED display had been delayed beyond 2026, with a 2027 release also far from certain. The report said that Apple had not been able to finalise the component supply chain required to make microLED displays for the Watch Ultra.

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