Apple Watch Ultra with micro LED screen may be cancelled

In 2022, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Ultra, which, compared to the Apple Watch Series 8, is more robust and offers exclusive features tailored for professionals. Subsequently, there were rumors about the development of a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra, which would pioneer the use of micro LED technology. This technology, crafted from inorganic materials, is a self-emissive display technology that eliminates the need for additional backlighting, offering enhanced energy efficiency and a longer lifespan.

According to Wccftech, Apple’s supplier ams OSRAM recently announced the cancellation of a “keystone project” related to micro LED, indicating a reevaluation of its micro LED strategy with ongoing discussions with relevant clients. This decision stems from the low yield, high cost, and significant risk associated with micro LED display production, rumored to be three times more expensive than OLED, suggesting that even if a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra were to be released, it would likely come at a higher price point.

Initially, there were speculations that Apple might delay the launch of the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra to 2025 or even 2026 to allow more time for switching to OLED technology or finding new suppliers. However, the latest reports suggest that Apple has scrapped the project for an Apple Watch Ultra with a micro-LED display, deeming it unable to significantly enhance value while being economically unfeasible due to high production costs.

Long before, reports indicated Apple’s aggressive pursuit of micro LED technology, securing patents applicable to devices such as the iMac, MacBook, and televisions, thereby completing a series of patent layouts. Despite the current high costs of micro LED compared to traditional LCD and OLED panels, its inherent advantages in brightness and power consumption remain unmatched.

Apple’s decision to introduce micro LED technology with the Apple Watch Ultra was largely motivated by the smaller display size of wearable devices, which reduces the challenges of mass production. However, with the recent upheaval in the supplier’s micro LED project, Apple’s foray into micro LED technology seems to have encountered a significant setback right from its inception.