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Supply chain problems will cause the MicroLED Apple Watch to be delayed until after 2026

In the past, we learned that Apple intends to use MicroLED displays for its Watch series. However, some recent pieces of information suggest that, due to supply chain issues, the company might be required to postpone its plans until after 2027. The company intends to offer better smartwatches with improved life, brightness, and efficiency.

In 2023, we learned that Apple might debut the MicorLED Apple Watches in 2024. However, the plan seems to be delayed. According to the market research firm TrendForce, the change can’t be expected until the first quarter of 2026. One of the main challenges associated with this shift is the increased production costs and low yield rates.

Reportedly, compared to the current $38 cost of OLED panels, the production cost of a Micro LED display for the Apple Watch might reach $150. The notable disparity in cost raises concern regarding the sale pricing of forthcoming Micro LED Apple Watches. We can expect the prices to be considerably higher as compared to the current versions of smartwatches and even OLED iPhones.

Besides this, the company is more inclined towards Micro LED technology than OLED because of its potential advantages. Micro LED technology offers improved display quality on small screens. For the wearable device, Micro LED provides a reasonable upgrade route with a feasible pixel density range of 300-400 PPI.

Reportedly, the company will partner with different suppliers in an effort to address supply chain issues. The company might collaborate with Epistar and Osram for wafer and chip production. For backplane technology, the company might partner with LuxVue. LG Display and ITRI, on the other hand, will supply the additional components. However, the path to mass production is still unclear in the absence of a completed supply network.

From an industry perspective, the company’s efforts demand a huge investment concerning the future of smartwatch displays. However, given the difficulties in manufacturing and managing the supply chain, users may have to wait longer than they think for the next major advancement in Apple Watch technology.

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