Apple stops in-house MicroLED production for its smartwatches

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As per the report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has stopped its internal efforts to develop microLED displays for smartwatches. This marks a significant shift in the company’s strategy and shows they aren’t ready to compete with established LED giants like Samsung, BOE, and LG.

Apple Watch display dreams dashed as company scraps in-house efforts to produce MicroLED

At the same time, Gurman also reported that Apple had put in substantial resources which ran into billions for the development of microLED technology. Initially meant for the Apple Watch Ultra series, microLED had several improvements over traditional LED and OLED screens including increased energy efficiency, contrast ratio, color accuracy, and faster response times.

However, a recent article suggests that Apple has found microLED too expensive and technically complex to continue advancing. Consequently, the company left the project unfinished, leading to the reorganization of display engineering teams and downsizing their workforce in America and Asia.

Some workers affected by this project termination had the opportunity to rejoin the company, while others received compensation for their exit. The decision to halt microLED development comes after earlier indications from OSRAM, an Apple supplier, who suggested the discontinuation of a major microLED project.

People might not see MicroLEDs in Apple watches for at least two more years

MicroLED technology helps reduce or even eliminate burn-in risks common with OLED displays. Despite these frustrations, many expect that Apple will still maintain interest in microLED thereby continuing to look for other possible sources outside its company as well as alternative manufacturing methods.

Nevertheless, it is unclear when or if future Apple devices will contain Micro LED displays. In the meantime, however, consumers can expect future Apple Watch products to employ OLED screens (probably for at least another year or two going forward).

The choice not to pursue an internal effort toward developing advanced display technologies indicates how daunting and intricate they can be. While on one hand, Apple remains committed to innovation, on the other, it must be conscious of the costs and feasibility associated with practical implementations.

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