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Apple has decided against making its own microLED Apple Watch displays

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Apple has decided against making its own microLED Apple Watch displays

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Apple Watch Ultra



Less than a month after Apple abandoned its plans for the Apple Car, the tech giant has decided to bail on its initiative to design its own microLED screens for the Apple Watch.

The project, which was first discovered in 2023, was designed to reduce its reliance on partners such as Samsung and LG. The company had even built its own screen manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, near Apple Park.

The company would have swapped the Samsung-produced OLED display for its own microLED. Apple would then likely have brought the screens to other devices, such as the iPhone.

However, the cost and complexity of the project were deemed untenable, and the project was scrapped, sources told Bloomberg. The screens are difficult to produce in sufficient quantities, and the company still relied on outside partners for mass production tasks.

According to the report, Apple has eliminated several dozen roles and is restructuring the teams responsible for display engineering. It has also axed positions at the Santa Clara manufacturing center.

In early February, rumors were circulating that Apple had pushed back or canceled the microLED Apple Watch project. Friday’s news comes after long-time Apple supplier Osram told its investors that a large customer had canceled microLED orders for a wearable.

Current Apple Watch screens run Apple about $38 per unit. Apple’s simulations of manufacturing and estimates of production yields were rumored to mean that an Apple Watch Ultra 3 screen with microLED would cost $150 to make.

Other microLED projects are said to remain intact. Timelines remain unclear, however.

In February, Apple abandoned Project Titan, the codename used to refer to developing its own electric vehicle. Many employees referred to the decade-long project as an inevitable failure and a “titanic disaster.”

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