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Apple cancels in-house microLED screen efforts, cuts jobs following shift to OLED

Published Mar 22nd, 2024 1:52PM EDT
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After canceling its Apple Car project, Apple has also shut down an in-house microLED initiative, which would help Cupertino have more control over the design and capabilities of its products. This project was a push to dominate the technology of its upcoming devices, as it has done successfully with its own silicon.

The information comes from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. For over seven years, Apple has planned to eventually shift all of its products to microLED, which would lead to a microLED iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The first step was to bring this technology to the Apple Watch.

While the main goal was to introduce this new panel in 2020, display costs and technical challenges got in the way. Apple then slipped its plans for 2024, then 2025 or later. However, the recent reports highlighting an “unnamed contractor” canceling projects with microLED displays signal that Apple was imminently shutting down its project.

Apple Watch Ultra on a cactus, displaying the exclusive Ultra watch faceImage source: Jonathan S. Geller for BGR

Gurman says Apple will offer the possibility for some employees to join a new team, but most will just be laid off. These job cuts affect both workers in America and Asia. That said, the company believes that “OLED is the best current solution.”

That said, those waiting for a microLED Apple Watch Ultra can forget about it. The only product that uses this technology is Apple Vision Pro. Regarding other products, Apple is aiming to shift its LCD and miniLED productions to OLED, as the iPad Pro is about to make this shift, followed by the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad Air starting in 2026.

Still, while Apple will continue to rely on Samsung and LG to manufacture its upcoming displays, the company is still identifying “potential new suppliers and processes that could make the technology a reality in its devices,” Bloomberg reveals.

BGR will keep following Apple’s latest technology developments as we learn more about them.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.