Apple Watch Ultra With microLED Technology Faces Major Setback From Supplier And May Not Witness A Launch At All

Veloz Lamma

Apple Watch Ultra With microLED Technology Faces Major Setback From Supplier And May Not Witness A Launch At All

The next Apple Watch Ultra refresh was expected to transition to microLED, but according to a supplier’s latest statement, those plans might be going down the drain due to a massive setback. In short, Apple’s vision to launch its first microLED device might be further than what the company initially anticipated.

The microLED Apple Watch Ultra cancellation might have something to do with high production costs and low yields

A statement from ams OSRAM AG is given below, talking about the ‘cancellation of a cornerstone project,’ though it is not explicitly mentioned if it is the Apple Watch Ultra. Shortly after the news, the share price of the supplier tumbled 40 percent, suggesting that the bulk of its expected revenue might have been tied to 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.”

Later, MacRumors was informed by Counterpoint Research’s Display Supply Chain Consultants that the cancellation of the microLED Apple Watch Ultra might be related to low production yields and high manufacturing costs of the display technology. It has been estimated that microLED costs around three times more than OLED, and assuming that the Apple Watch Ultra had launched with these advanced panels, it is unlikely that it would be sold at the same price as the previous-generation version.

It is yet to be seen if Apple will push through and find another microLED supplier or forego its plan entirely and stick with OLED screens for the upcoming model. A factory in Malaysia costing $1.41 billion was specifically established to begin mass production of these displays, but it looks like the plan did not reach fruition.

Our take on the matter is that the third iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra will feature OLED since it can take months to find a new supplier, construct a factory, and start vetting microLED samples. Also, it is not like the industry was clamoring for a microLED Apple Watch Ultra, so while there are benefits to using this technology, the high costs and low yields may offset any advantages.

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