Apple’s Micro LED Watch Dreams Hit a Snag as LG Display Reassigns Team

The road to bringing Micro LED displays to the Apple Watch has hit a major speed bump. From ChosunBiz news, LG Display, a key partner in developing this cutting-edge screen technology for Apple’s wearable, has decided to reallocate personnel from its Micro LED task force to other departments.

Originally, Apple had ambitious plans to equip their top-tier Apple Watch models with Micro LED displays as early as this year, ditching the traditional OLED panels. Apple supplier ams OSRAM announced the cancellation of a “cornerstone project” to develop microLED. However, these dreams have been put on hold due to low yields and sky-high production costs proving to be major roadblocks.

In light of the project delays, LG Display’s Micro LED development task force within their Strategic Customer Business Unit has begun workforce reductions. This team had significantly expanded its headcount to tackle Micro LED development for the Apple Watch, but now finds itself with idle personnel.

The task force recently announced it would accept voluntary leave applications from interested employees for periods ranging from 1 to 12 months, with those on leave receiving 50% of their fixed salary. Moving forward, only a skeleton crew will remain focused on Micro LED R&D, while the rest transition to production roles.

A Temporary Setback? while this reshuffling at LG is certainly a setback for Apple’s Micro LED ambitions in the short term, it’s unlikely to be the demise of the project entirely. The benefits of Micro LED’s superior brightness, contrast, and energy efficiency make it an enticing future display technology for wearables.

Perhaps this bump in the road will simply delay Micro LED’s arrival on the Apple Watch by a year or two as the companies iron out the remaining technical challenges. Or Apple may pivot to bringing the new displays to other products first before eventual implementation in their flagship wearable.

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Max Hyland
Max Hyland
Long form contributor Apple iPhone, iPad, watch reviews, opinion, editorial

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