That microLED Apple Watch we all wanted definitely isn't happening, by the looks of things

Apple Watch Ultra with the Blood Oxygen reader on
(Image credit: Future)

When the Apple Watch Ultra 2 debuted last year, it fell a little flat. Hardly anything had changed on the latest version of the best Apple Watch. But we didn't mind! There were rumors about a Gen 3 Apple Watch Ultra, suggesting the smartwatch will come with a MicroLED display. That would be a huge upgrade, so we didn't mind waiting. But more recently, it looks like the MicroLED Apple Watch has been called off.

Display analyst Ross Young was first to hint at this. He reported that one of Apple's key display suppliers cancelled a mysterious "Project W" by one of its "strategic customers." While unconfirmed, this "Project W" is believed to be the codename for the MicroLED Apple Watch Ultra. And now it looks like we've got confirmation this watch isn't coming, thanks to a new report from Mark Gurman.

Per Gurman's report, people in the know have "eased an in-house effort to create screens with MicroLED technology" for smartwatches. He continued, "For now, Apple believes that OLED is the best current solution for its smartwatch. But it’s still eyeing microLED for other projects down the road."

That's bad news for anyone holding out for the new MicroLED Apple Watch. Why do we care? These displays promise less power consumption, more accurate color reproduction, and the chance to slim down our devices even further. They'd have been a big upgrade for Apple's smartwatch. But it appears the complexity and cost have proven too steep a hill to climb, even for Apple.

Wave goodbye to the MicroLED Apple Watch

With two major suppliers out of the picture and Apple's in-house production at a halt, this really is the end of the road for the MicroLED Apple Watch. For now, it looks like OLED screens are here to stay, maintaining their reign as the go-to display technology for Apple's smartwatch efforts.

But don't let that dim your hopes! As Gurman said, Apple is still eyeing MicroLED for future projects. That means we could see the display tech make its way to the iPhone or MacBook, once Apple figures out production. And who knows, maybe Apple will revisit the MicroLED Apple Watch further down the road.

More from iMore

Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.