Is it possible that Apple won't update the Thunderbolt Display over the next 2 years?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Brandon263, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    It seems that Apple is not in a hurry to update the TBD. I think it may be possible that they won't update it within the next two years because:

    1. Displays with a resolution higher than 2560×1440 pixels haven't really caught on.

    2. The panel they currently have is one of the highest quality ones currently available.

    3. Many consumers don't seem to mind buying devices with USB 2.0, e.g. laptops, cellphones, hard drives, etc.

    4. It doesn't seem as if many people are not buying the Thunderbolt Display because of USB 2.0.

    5. Consumers who want faster than USB 2.0 hard drives have the option to buy Thunderbolt drives if they want high disk transfer speeds through the display.

    6. Apple displays have looked different from iMacs from time to time (i.e., it seems that Apple is not concerned about whether or not they have the same design).

    What do you guys think?
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    There is a small distinct possibility.

    But it's a really small one.

    Mac Pro.

    Thunderbolt 2.

    4K displays.
  3. Brandon263 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    1. Isn't Mac Pro geared at design professionals, video editors, etc.? Is there a huge demand for 4k displays among those people?

    2. Apple only said Mac Pro supports 4k displays. I'm not sure that this indicates that Apple will come out with a 4k display of their own.

    3. Thunderbolt 2 supports 4k displays, but, again, this does not necessarily mean Apple will come out with one in the near future.

    4. Are 4k displays really that popular. I'd like to think I'm pretty connected in the tech world and my friends are tech enthusiasts, but I don't know anyone who has one.

  4. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    4K displays are far too new and far too expensive to have caught on yet. (It's like saying super gigapixel 3d holographic displays haven't caught on yet.) Good business is all about being disruptive. Don't follow trends, set them. If Apple could make a 4K display and sell it for $1000, they would fly off the shelves.

    There's no way I'm the only one waiting (im)patiently for desktop Retina. I'm holding off my next build waiting to discover what kind of GPU/outputs I'll need for it.
  5. rnauman821 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2004
    If Apple updates their thunderbolt displays with 4k, I will take two and MacPro.

    If they don't update to 4K, I will pick up a mini.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The keynote announcing the Mac Pro specifically referred to third party 4k displays. I'd take that as a hint that Apple aren't going to launch their own 4k display alongside the Pro. My guess is that its going to appear in Apple stores hooked up to a non-Apple 4K display.

    The Thunderbolt display is a lovely display, but really makes most sense as a docking station for a MacBook (which is mainly the way Apple promote it). Even ignoring the current 4K=$4K price issue, I can't see a 4k Thunderbolt display appearing until Thunderbolt 2 MacBook Pros, that can actually drive it, are out.

    ISTR reading that TB2 chipsets are only going to be in limited quantities this year - presumably all destined for Mac Pros - so I doubt that will happen until the next-but-one MacBook Pro update. A 4K TBD would also need its own TB 2 controller, too (unlike 3rd party DisplayPort-based 4K displays).

    Personally If I succumb to a Mac Pro (can't justify one but oooh... shiny) I'd be inclined to hang a couple of 24" monitors from it rather than one huge display.
  7. GizmoDVD macrumors 68000

    Oct 11, 2008
    I expect at least the slimmer design like the new iMacs and maybe a second TB port. Plus USB 3.0 ports

    However they won't arrive until the Pros or Minis come out.
  8. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    I really hope apple releases an updated tb display to match the current imac with usb 3 etc .. i wanna add a second and possible 3rd display but no way im buying a current tb
  9. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    It's well in need of an upgrade. Even if the updates are only very minor, such as USB 3.0 and the slim form factor.
  10. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    It's been awhile since Apple updated their displays. The fact they hinted the new MacPro supporting 4k displays give me some hope that we might soon see such displays with an Apple badge.
    It would be great with they could launch it at the same time they release the new MacPro this fall, but it could very well take much longer.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Only if they're trying to implement 4k finishing workflows. It's not like they all have 4k displays today.
  12. potatis macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
    A possibility is that Apple could release a non-4k retina display, say 20" 3360x2100. Would probably be affordable.
  13. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Current Macs won't drive displays above 2560x1600 because of the limitations of DisplayPort 1.1/Thunderbolt 1. Fixing this is one of the benefits of Thunderbolt 2. So I wouldn't expect to see a >> 2560x1440 display until MacBooks start getting Thunderbolt 2.

    What might be possible is to make a smaller (20-22") 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 screen that - once you allow for increased viewing distance - would qualify as "retina". In "best for retina" HiDPI mode with everything pixel-doubled that wouldn't offer much in the way of screen real estate, but it could be good in one of the scaled modes.

    I'll be interested to see how OS X plays out on a 4k display - the 3,840x2,160 resolution that is being sold as "4k" is somewhat short of the 5120x2880 you'd need to 'pixel double' the current 27" display: so either you're going to have somewhat larger menus & icons, or it will be running in a "scaled" mode - theoretically degrading the image. Or, Apple could persuade developers to include another set of bitmap assets optimised for 4k screens.
  14. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
  15. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I really hope they update the thunderbolt monitors soon. Ive been waiting for 6 months for the update. Id really like a thinner design. Im also hoping like hell they do something about the stand / vesa mount. I dont want to have to choose between one or the other like the new imacs.

    4k monitors scare me due to price. I dont want to see thunderbolt monitors go up in price even 100 dollars. I just hope if they do create a 4k expensive monitor they still offer updated regular thunderbolt displays.
  16. Raptura macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2008
    Toronto, Canada / London, UK
    I'd argue that the next update for the TBD will be very soon. The new Mac Pros are on the horizon, and buyers will need to buy a display with it. The Mac Pros have Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0, where as the TBD does not have those features. The current TBDs have the old MagSafe connector, which Apple is phasing out with MagSafe 2. The new iMacs have a thinner design and the screen is laminated to the glass, so I wouldn't be surprised those features coming to the TBD. I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing a new display before 2014.
  17. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...but the real "pro" buyers will probably want to choose 3rd party displays to meet their needs (Hoods, wide gamut, built-in colour calibration gear). Many will already have decent monitors to re-use. Personally, were I to buy a Mac Pro, I'd probably use 2-3 24" 1200p monitors rather than one huge one (esp. with the new multi-screen goodness coming in 10.9): ymmv but flexibility in displays is one of the reasons for not getting an iMac or a MBP.

    Meanwhile, if you want an Apple monitor for your pro, the only serious downside of the existing TBD is the lack of USB3, but as the Mac Pro already has 4 USB3 sockets available for disc drives etc. all you're going to use the monitor sockets for is keyboards, mice and iPhones, so that doesn't matter - the "docking station" principle is irrelevant to desktop machines.

    I'd expect to see Mac Pros appearing in showrooms hooked up to 3rd-party 4K monitors - they'll want to show that off, even if most customers won't actually buy a monitor that costs twice as much as the computer.

    Maybe they'll update the TBD for the pro, maybe they'll rebrand a third party
    4k monitor to offer to Pro users, but my money would be on any new TBD appearing alongside MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt 2 (& hence DisplayPort 1.2) - whenever they appear.

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