Apple Watch Ultra with microLED display development might have been canceled

Apple Watch Ultra 2
(Image credit: Future)

The next Apple Watch Ultra might not get a microLED display after all, as it is thought that Apple has just pulled out of a massive deal with display maker ams Osram.

In an announcement from the display maker, it is said that “a cornerstone project underpinning its microLED strategy got unexpectedly canceled.” The collaborator in this project has never been named — but it’s considered to be Apple.

The collapse of the deal has made ams Osram’s stock tank by 40% — and it's now looking to sell the brand new $1.41 billion factory it was building to produce microLED displays.

What next?

For ams Osram, the main target for the next few months is going to be damage control. The aforementioned selling of the new Malaysia factory to “improve cash flow profile” and “adjust its mid-term structural revenue growth target to 6% to 8%.”

While it’s not known for sure that it’s Apple that’s canceled its displays for Apple Watch Ultra — AppleInsider points out that it’s never been confirmed that the two were working together — it’s a massive blow to the company that’s made it reconsider its entire approach regarding the microLED display tech.

As for Apple Watch Ultra 3, the potential microLED display was going to be one of the most exciting parts. One of the biggest bonuses for most users looking forward to the upgrade would be energy efficiency, which would potentially improve battery life — better than the already solid Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The cancelation of microLED display productions has left a company with a massive drop in stock price and the price of a brand new factory that will no longer be used, that much is certain. While unconfirmed, however, it’s also left some Apple fans eager for a massive Apple Ultra 3 upgrade, wondering if the next version of the wearable will have anything that might persuade them to upgrade. 

Given that this deal between ams Osram and ‘unknown party’ was the best idea of where Apple was going for its microLED displays for Apple Watch, it is unlikely that there’s going to be a sudden shift to another manufacturer only half a year before the next Apple Watches are announced.

For this year, Apple's best Apple Watches could go microLED-less. We can only hope that there’s new display tech in the more distant future.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.