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Apple Watch Ultra isn't the only micro-LED project Apple has canceled

Apple Watch Ultra

Rumour assessment   馃 Possibly

Following AppleInsider's report on Thursday about the likely cancellation of the micro-LED Apple Watch Ultra, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has abandoned almost all of its plans to use micro-LED displays.

Following news that the Apple Watch Ultra 3's micro-LED might fail, Ming-Chi Kuo explained why he thinks it happened. He also names Osram as a supplier, which was previously only suspected and not confirmed by either party.

鈥淢y latest investigation reveals that Apple has canceled its plan to develop an Apple Watch with micro-LEDs,鈥 Kuo wrote on Twitter/X. 鈥淭he reason is that Apple believes that Micro LED cannot significantly increase the added value of the product, and the production cost is too high, making the investment unprofitable.鈥

Kuo goes on to say that Apple has fired many people from its microLED development team. This team wasn't just working on the Apple Watch Ultra, and he adds that there are no signs of working on any other micro-LED devices.

There appear to be some oddities in Kuo's posts, starting with him claiming that Osram has terminated its contract with Apple. If we assume that Kuo is right about which supplier we are talking about, then it turns out that the opposite is true – — and cruel.

The CEO of ams Osram, saying only that the unnamed client had pulled out, told the press that 鈥渢he shock is still deep.鈥

Second, Kuo describes the cancellation as “undoubtedly a major setback for Apple.” This is just a setback for Ams Osram — which has reportedly built a $1.41 billion purpose-built plant in Malaysia to service Apple.

Kuo argues that this is a setback because Apple wants to use improved displays to make the Apple Watch Ultra more competitive. But this directly follows his statement that Apple doesn't think a micro-LED can add enough value to the Apple Watch Ultra to justify the investment.

Apple offered micro LED for more devices

The advantages of micro LED over other display technologies such as OLED are that they are much thinner, consume less power and are brighter outdoors. They can also be used on curved or folding surfaces.

Hence, while the Apple Watch Ultra was believed to be the first Apple device to feature a micro-LED, previous reports claimed that it would come to iPhone, iPad, and Mac later.

The cancellation is a repeat on a smaller scale of Apple's cancellation of the Apple Car project. While Apple hasn't spent a decade on a micro-LED display for the Watch, it has spent time and seen numerous delays on it.

Assessing rumors

馃

Possibly

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