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Apple pulls the plug on in-house MicroLED display for the Apple Watch

Apple gives up on developing MicroLED in-house.
By

Published onMarch 22, 2024

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the app screen.
TL;DR
  • A new report claims Apple has ended its initiative to develop MicroLED smartwatch displays in-house.
  • Apple reportedly canceled the project after finding the displays too complex and costly to develop.
  • In-house MicroLED displays would have allowed Apple to decrease its reliance on suppliers like Samsung.

Rumors have suggested that Apple was internally preparing MicroLED displays for its future smartwatches, like the Apple Watch X. However, that possibility appears to have ended as a new report claims the Cupertino firm has shut down development.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has reportedly halted its work on smartwatch MicroLED screens. It appears this decision was made around the same time the company decided to give up on its self-driving car, which was reported on back in late February.

As for the reason why Apple is abandoning its in-house plans, the report cites that the company found the project to be too complex and costly. This would align with a statement made by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who said on March 1, 2024 that “Apple has canceled the Micro LED Apple Watch projects.” However, in addition to being costly, Kuo added “Apple thinks that Micro LED can’t add significant value to this product.”

When pitted against each other, MicroLED displays tend to outperform OLED in color as well as clarity, offering deeper contrast and more consistent viewing from all angles. At the same time, MicroLEDs have an edge in terms of brightness and longevity.

If Apple had been able to follow through on its goal, it would have been able to lower its reliance on suppliers like Samsung and LG. Now that Apple is giving up on in-house development, it won’t be able to ditch these suppliers quite yet.

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