Apple started developing microLED displays for wearable devices years ago, first aiming to launch the first product in 2023. The project was delayed several times, as the cost of production for microLED displays was too high for Apple, to the point where it was suggested Apple's goal is to launch the first microLED watch in 2027.
One of Apple's main microLED partners is ams-Osram, that is building a $850 Million 8-inch microLED epiwafer factory in Malaysia. Yesterday ams-Osram announced that its "cornerstone project" (it did not name Apple specifically) got unexpectedly cancelled. This triggered ams-Osram to re-assess its microLED strategy. As a first estimate ams-Osram believes it will have impairment charges of $650-$900 million and it will also likely to cancel or delay some of its investments in Malaysia (which may actually improve the company's cashflow in the next two years).