Apple reportedly gives up on its MicroLED dream for now

Apple is scrapping plans to build a MicroLED display for the Apple Watch, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The company reportedly stopped working on the display “around the same time as the company’s decision to cancel work on a self-driving car,” writes Gurman, after finding it too costly and complex to develop.

This corroborates an earlier rumor from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the company canceled the in-house MicroLED display because “the production costs are too high to make it economically viable.” As a result of the project’s discontinuation, Apple cut “several dozen” engineering jobs, some of which were at the company’s own screen manufacturing facility in California, Bloomberg reports.

Rumors about Apple creating its own MicroLED displays for its smartwatches first emerged last year. At the time, Bloomberg reported that Apple was readying the displays for an Apple Watch it would release in 2024 or 2025, allowing Apple to decrease its reliance on display designs from companies like Samsung or LG.

Apple currently uses an OLED display in its Apple Watch, which makes the screen bright and vibrant. However, as my colleague Chris Welch points out, it’s not exactly clear what benefits a MicroLED display would bring besides more efficiency. It doesn’t seem like Apple is giving up on MicroLED entirely, however. Bloomberg says Apple is still trying to find new suppliers and processes to incorporate the tech.

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