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Rumored Apple Watch Ultra with micro LED might be dead

Apple Watch Ultra

Apple is believed to be the unnamed customer whose sudden cancellation of orders for micro LED displays thought to be for the Apple Watch Ultra has caused ams Osram's shares to drop 40%.

Neither ams Osram nor Apple have ever confirmed that the Austrian firm is a supplier of micro LED displays for the next Apple Watch Ultra. However, it has previously been linked to the company, and in 2023 reported that it would see increased revenues in 2025, when the Apple Watch Ultra 3 with the technology was expected to arrive.

Whether the client is Apple or not, ams Osram is now reeling after a seemingly abrupt and total cancellation of a major order for micro LED. The company announced the issue to comply with the SIX Swiss Exchange.

"The shock is still deep," CEO Aldo Kamper said on a conference call about the filing. The company had already built a purpose-made $1.41 billion factory in Malaysia.

"We thought everything was on track," added CFO Rainer Irle. Irle also said that the company was looking to sell the new factory.

In the announcement about the project cancellation, the firm stated that it now expects to record non-cash impairment charges on microLED related assets and goodwill of $650 million to $970 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024.

"Discussions with the related customer are ongoing," continues the statement. Shares in the firm have dropped 40% on the news.

If the micro LED customer is Apple, and it's likely that it was given that the factory construction was also tied to Apple, previous reports suggest that the technology was intended for the next Apple Watch Ultra. It's possible that the order cancellation is to do with how it's been claimed that Apple has yet again had to delay the new watch, perhaps to 2027.

Those same reports, though, said that LG was buying patents specifically to speed up its own ability to develop micro LED screens. It has also been claimed that Apple has been unable to finalize the component supply chain.