Apple is discontinuing sales of the Thunderbolt Display, a much-loved, though rarely updated monitor. Although it’s still available in the Apple store (for the not super low price of $999), once current inventory is sold out, that’ll be the end of Apple producing standalone displays for its computers.
For now, at least. There’s no word on whether or not Apple intends to replace it with something in the future. We’ve been half-hoping for Apple to release a display with a 5K resolution to match the current high-end iMac for some time now, but there have been no hints that will happen — and the amount of throughput required to run an external 5K monitor would be difficult on most of the current lineup of Mac laptops. Though perhaps a future model that has embedded graphics cards could happen, someday, maybe.
Apple hadn’t updated the Thunderbolt Display since September, 2011, according to the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide. And basically ever since 2011, people have been hoping it would have a replacement and, eventually, cracking wise about it (or at least I did):
Catching up on all the Apple coverage at @verge and I can’t find the new Cinema Display announcement. Weird.
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) March 21, 2016
Here’s an Apple spokesperson’s comment on the matter: “We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users.”
Those third-party options won’t be sold at the Apple store, however. If you need a display for your Mac, you’re on your own to find the best one.
One last note: speaking of the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide, you can’t help but note that there are a lot of Macs that are starting to look a little long in the tooth. So chances feel decent that we’re going to see a lot of updates in the relatively near future. At least one Mac, the MacBook Pro, is rumored to be receiving an major refresh. Whether any of those refreshes will be coupled with a new, Apple-made monitor to buy alongside them is anybody’s guess.
If they’re not, expect more wisecracks from the Twitter peanut gallery. We’re incorrigible:
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) October 13, 2015