Apple has long been rumored to be working on microLED displays for its flagship Watch Ultra smartwatch. Last month, reports said the Cupertino, California-based company had delayed the Apple Watch Ultra with a microLED display beyond 2026 due to supply chain issues. The iPhone maker is now said to have canceled the project altogether. According to a reliable analyst, Apple abandoned the project as it struggled to make the product economically viable and also laid off several people from the development team.

The information comes from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed in an X post late Friday that Apple has abandoned the microLED Apple Watch Ultra project. Apple struggled to see how high-end displays would bring value to the watch as production costs on the project continued to climb, Kuo said. “… Apple believes that Micro LED cannot add significant value to this product, and the manufacturing costs are too high to make it economically viable,” the analyst claimed.

Kuo also said that Apple has laid off “a lot of people” from the microLED development team. Apple has not confirmed the development and it is unclear how many employees have been laid off. “Currently, there is no visibility for Micro LED-related projects,” Kuo added.

The reported cancellation of the microLED Apple Watch Ultra project, if true, would represent another blow to the company’s ambitions after Apple abandoned its ten-year electric car project earlier this week. “This is undoubtedly a big hurdle for Apple, which hopes to own the next generation of display technology to make its products more competitive,” Kuo said.

Austrian manufacturer asm-OSRAM is Apple’s exclusive supplier of LED chips for microLEDs, according to Kuo. Now that the project has been canceled, Apple does not intend to produce microLED-equipped devices in the foreseeable future, Kuo added.

An official update from Osram also hints at the cancellation of the microLED Apple Watch project. The company said in a press release (like noticed from GSMArena) that it is reassessing its microLED strategy after “a cornerstone project at the heart of its microLED strategy was unexpectedly cancelled.”

Last month, a Korean publication reported that the Apple Watch with a microLED display has been delayed beyond 2026, with a 2027 launch also far from certain. The report says that Apple has been unable to finalize the supply chain of components needed to manufacture the microLED displays for the Watch Ultra.

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