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Thunderbolt Display stock-outs continue as Apple's iMac inventory improves

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
While Apple has begun to catch up with demand for its redesigned iMacs, the company's Thunderbolt Display remains in limited supply at resellers, potentially hinting that an update could be around the corner.

Thunderbolt Display


As of Thursday, the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display is sold out at Amazon, MacConnection, and J&R. Resellers MacMall, B&H and Best Buy advertise that they have inventory available.

AppleInsider first noted in January that Thunderbolt Display units were in short supply at some resellers. The fact that inventory remains limited a month and a half later may hint that Apple is drawing down supply ahead of a refreshed product.

In disassembling Apple's current-generation Thunderbolt Display, the repair experts at iFixit discovered that the device employs the same LG TFT active-matrix LCD screen as the previous-generation 27-inch iMac. Miroslav Djuric, chief information architect at iFixit, described the Thunderbolt Display as "an iMac minus the computing hardware."It's likely that a new Thunderbolt Display would borrow design elements from the new, thinner iMac.

If that strategy were to continue, then some of the new design elements employed by Apple in its latest iMac would come to the next-generation Thunderbolt Display. The new iMacs include thinner LCD panels that are fused to the front glass of the display.

The chances of a soon-to-debut thinner Thunderbolt Display have also improved since January as Apple has begun to catch up with demand for its updated iMacs. The screen lamination process used in manufacturing the thinner all-in-one desktops led to production issues that plagued the hardware into early 2013.

Thunderbolt Display


As of Thursday, Apple has not yet completely caught up with iMac demand, as the company's website advertises that the 21.5-inch model ships in 2 to 3 weeks, while the larger 27-inch variety ships in 3 to 4 weeks.

But Apple also saw its domestic Mac sales grow 31 percent year over year in the month of January, according to data released this week by the NPD Group. That significant spike in sales was taken as a sign by analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray that Apple has begun to catch up with demand for the new iMacs.

Beyond a thinner design, a new Thunderbolt Display would also likely see upgraded USB 3.0 ports. Apple began offering faster USB 3.0 connectivity on its 2012 Macs, including the redesigned iMac, offering transfer rates up to 5 Gbps, compared to just 480 Mbps for USB 2.0.
post #2 of 36
Makes sense. The old panels look downright archaic next to the current iMacs.
post #3 of 36
Cue the rumors. This is proof positive Apple is making a 'real TV'

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #4 of 36

Perhaps this new Thunderbolt display will be released alongside a new Mac Pro?

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post #5 of 36
I'm often recommending Dell displays to other people, but this IS a prominent piece of furniture, so looks matter--and Dell's price with a plastic shell and no Thunderbolt isn't much less than this. I'm tempted by an Apple display next time I get a screen.

Then again, for not much more money, Apple will toss in an iMac....
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Perhaps this new Thunderbolt display will be released alongside a new Mac Pro?

Llikely: I'm expecting an event in March (20th?) with a new Mac tower, new ATD that mirror the new iMac look, and new AirPort products with 802.11ac

Maybe: New Apple TV HW, OS features and SDK.

Unlikely: An Apple Home Server running off iOS that can hold at multiple drives in a RAID and can host a home's iTunes content so that a Mac no longer has to be the hub for all content as devices get more portable.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm often recommending Dell displays to other people, but this IS a prominent piece of furniture, so looks matter--and Dell's price with a plastic shell and no Thunderbolt isn't much less than this. I'm tempted by an Apple display next time I get a screen.

Then again, for not much more money, Apple will toss in an iMac....


These displays are impressive to say the least.  I've been using my TB display with my MBA at the office.  It's one of the best investments I've made.  That display really goes will with a Macbook of some sort.  A 27" iMac is still going to cost a chunk of change more though, but true... it can also serve as an external monitor too.  Tough decision.

I've seen the Dell monitor.  Not even in the same league as what Apple offers.  At least Apple's monitor serves as a dock for all the cabling.  Dell's price is almost about the same with the more inferior construction.  Not my cup of tea.

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Perhaps this new Thunderbolt display will be released alongside a new Mac Pro?

That would seem to make sense and be a good fit. Assuming they'll want a display that can work with a new MacPro (seeing as the current MacPros don't have TB).

post #9 of 36

I wish they would go to 30" like the original Cinema Display.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #10 of 36
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
I wish they would go to 30" like the original Cinema Display.

 

Wish they'd go back to 16:10, you mean. And I agree. None of this 16:9 nonsense. Leave that for televisions (though I wouldn't accept an Apple HDTV at anything other than 2.39:1, ignoring some of the other reasons I wouldn't accept one lol.gif).

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #11 of 36
No clear signs that they are catching up. My 27 in iMac ordered 2/1/13 arrived yesterday. Shipped 3 weeks and 1 day after ordering. Site stated ships 3-4 weeks at that time. Still says shipped 3-4 weeks now. I do think the new expect a new Pro that will ship with a new thunderbolt display will be released together after the iMacs have caught up.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm often recommending Dell displays to other people, but this IS a prominent piece of furniture, so looks matter--and Dell's price with a plastic shell and no Thunderbolt isn't much less than this. I'm tempted by an Apple display next time I get a screen.

Then again, for not much more money, Apple will toss in an iMac....

 

I recently purchase a 23" Dell Display with an IPS panel in it. Its an awesome display and only cost me $159 on sale + price match. It goes well with my Mac mini. If I were to get a Thunderbolt display for my Mac mini, I would have been better off just getting an iMac. It suits my needs well. It doesn't look all that bad either. Sure, its not aluminum/glass, but its not completely cheap looking either. 

 

Dell Display

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post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianloftus View Post

No clear signs that they are catching up. My 27 in iMac ordered 2/1/13 arrived yesterday. Shipped 3 weeks and 1 day after ordering. Site stated ships 3-4 weeks at that time. Still says shipped 3-4 weeks now. I do think the new expect a new Pro that will ship with a new thunderbolt display will be released together after the iMacs have caught up.

I'd be surprised if Apple held off once a release is ready. You don't want to do your competition any favors. I suppose Apple might be concerned over some self-cannibalizing, but that's really not Apple's modus operandi.
post #14 of 36

I'd imagine they'll use the new screen tech and slim it right down.

Oh BTW Apple, how about making it sit at the same bloody height as the iMac screen through use of interchangeable stands.

post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Oh BTW Apple, how about making it sit at the same bloody height as the iMac screen through use of interchangeable stands.

I never understood why they do not make the height adjustable in the first place.

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post #16 of 36
This is, what, the third story about low stocks of Thunderbolt Displays in the past five months, isn't it? Previous story, six weeks ago. Same author too.

I believe it's more likely now, but really, it seems most low stock situations aren't an indicator of an upcoming model, it's just supplies on the model are temporarily slim.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

I recently purchase a 23" Dell Display with an IPS panel in it. Its an awesome display and only cost me $159 on sale + price match. It goes well with my Mac mini. If I were to get a Thunderbolt display for my Mac mini, I would have been better off just getting an iMac. It suits my needs well. It doesn't look all that bad either. Sure, its not aluminum/glass, but its not completely cheap looking either. 

Dell Display

I don't think it makes sense to buy a mini with a Thunderbolt display. An iMac with a Thunderbolt display beside it, that's an enticing idea.
Edited by JeffDM - 2/28/13 at 1:42pm
post #17 of 36
If they made a plain mini-DP version (like the current LED Cinema Display) they would sell quite a few to PC users. There aren't that many really nice looking PC monitors available.
post #18 of 36
I doubt we'll see a new TB display until they sort the yield issues on the iMacs. They are still listed as 3-4 week shipping times on the US site and 4-6 weeks on the EU sites. Adding more panels made with the same process would just worsen the problem.

They could use an update now that the laptops have USB 3 and a new magsafe. I wonder if they'll switch it around so that it has magsafe 2 with a magsafe 1 adaptor.
post #19 of 36
Well hopefully it will be thinner than current IMac, or at least it have a retina(it is verry expensive compared to other prices currently I estimate it half the price,) yet with a update with these features:thinner than IMac, Retina, latest ports.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I doubt we'll see a new TB display until they sort the yield issues on the iMacs. They are still listed as 3-4 week shipping times on the US site and 4-6 weeks on the EU sites. Adding more panels made with the same process would just worsen the problem.

They could use an update now that the laptops have USB 3 and a new magsafe. I wonder if they'll switch it around so that it has magsafe 2 with a magsafe 1 adaptor.

It seems a bit away yet, but still...

post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

This is, what, the third story about low stocks of Thunderbolt Displays in the past five months, isn't it? Previous story, six weeks ago. Same author too.

I believe it's more likely now, but really, it seems most low stock situations aren't an indicator of an upcoming model, it's just supplies on the model are temporarily slim.
I don't think it makes sense to buy a mini with a Thunderbolt display. An iMac with a Thunderbolt display beside it, that's an enticing idea.

 

I agree! 

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post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

Well hopefully it will be thinner than current IMac, or at least it have a retina(it is verry expensive compared to other prices currently I estimate it half the price,) yet with a update with these features:thinner than IMac, Retina, latest ports.

Retina! Seems too soon for 27" Retina (just 15" Retina requires 2880 across), but if such a thing came out I would mortgage my house to get one.

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Cue the rumors. This is proof positive Apple is making a 'real TV'

 

Zzzzz ...

 

After a while, constant mocking of rumors just makes the "mocker" foolish for slavishly reading the articles.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Retina! Seems too soon for 27" Retina (just 15" Retina requires 2880 across), but if such a thing came out I would mortgage my house to get one.


You must have a cheap house :)

post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

This is, what, the third story about low stocks of Thunderbolt Displays in the past five months, isn't it? Previous story, six weeks ago. Same author too.

I believe it's more likely now, but really, it seems most low stock situations aren't an indicator of an upcoming model, it's just supplies on the model are temporarily slim.
I don't think it makes sense to buy a mini with a Thunderbolt display. An iMac with a Thunderbolt display beside it, that's an enticing idea.

 

Perhaps it is enticing for certain power users. But in general, why is it enticing to have two displays side by side?

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I never understood why they do not make the height adjustable in the first place.

 

Agree. But that's part of the Apple way that makes it an easy target for some critics.

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Zzzzz ...

After a while, constant mocking of rumors just makes the "mocker" foolish for slavishly reading the articles.

Who said you need to slavishly read articles to mock therm? Read headline, skim a bit, click the forum link, mock story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Perhaps it is enticing for certain power users. But in general, why is it enticing to have two displays side by side?

I'd say lots of power users. Keep track of more things at once. Drawing takes one screen, various documentation and notes on the other screen. Program execution one screen, debug panels on the other screen. Video feed one screen, work on the other screen. Heck, take a look at the SpaceX mission control room. Every station has three screens.



Full time investment junkies are known to have four or more screens going.
Edited by JeffDM - 3/1/13 at 7:32am
post #28 of 36
I'd wish a 24" display back, the 27" is by far to large for an ordinary office desk. I never understood why Apple dropped it. Would be a good range of sizes, 21.5" iMac - 24" display, and 27" iMac and display.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by meshope View Post

I'd wish a 24" display back, the 27" is by far to large for an ordinary office desk. I never understood why Apple dropped it. Would be a good range of sizes, 21.5" iMac - 24" display, and 27" iMac and display.

What size is your idea of an ordinary office desk?
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


What size is your idea of an ordinary office desk?

Certainly too small for a 27" or 30" external display, I bought a 24" Eizo instead.

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by meshope View Post

Certainly too small for a 27" or 30" external display, I bought a 24" Eizo instead.

Dimensions, please. I can take your meters.
post #32 of 36
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post
Dimensions, please. I can take your meters.

 

Take this out of context and… 1tongue.gif

 

My current desk is 42"x22.5" and I have a 27" Cinema Display sitting on it in the middle. There's enough room to the sides to have my iPad Keyboard Dock sit comfortably on one and my 'going out' stuff or current work on the other. Not to mention space for my iPhone+Dock and extra Apple Battery Chargers underneath the display itself.

 

So I can't imagine any meaningful desk size being too small for a Cinema Display.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Take this out of context and… 1tongue.gif

Oops.

Quote:
My current desk is 42"x22.5" and I have a 27" Cinema Display sitting on it in the middle. There's enough room to the sides to have my iPad Keyboard Dock sit comfortably on one and my 'going out' stuff or current work on the other. Not to mention space for my iPhone+Dock and extra Apple Battery Chargers underneath the display itself.

So I can't imagine any meaningful desk size being too small for a Cinema Display.

Anyone that doesn't have space now for a TBD, I just wonder how they got along in the CRT years. In my opinion, a 27" TBD would fit much better than a CRT of just about any size, just because of the monitor behind the monitor. Sure, it's wider, but the reality is that the screen is increasingly becoming your actual desktop, instead of paper documents, it's electronic. It's a no-brainer trade as far as I'm concerned. For every unit of area "lost" by a wider display, you get at least double back in usable screen area.
Edited by JeffDM - 3/2/13 at 9:15pm
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


Oops.
Anyone that doesn't have space now for a TBD, I just wonder how they got along in the CRT years. In my opinion, a 27" TBD would fit much better than a CRT of just about any size, just because of the monitor behind the monitor. Sure, it's wider, but the reality is that the screen is increasingly becoming your actual desktop, instead of paper documents, it's electronic. It's a no-brainer trade as far as I'm concerned. For every unit of area "lost" by a wider display, you get at least double back in usable screen area.

Maybe, but the CRTs for office use had sizes of 15-17-19". And why is Apple offering a 21.5" iMac ? Because there are lot's of people who are simply over-challenged with this large displays, both by price and size. I assume that's the reason for Samsung, LG and others to offer best compromises like 23-24". Honestly I'm a bit annoyed by Apple, I'd far prefer a Cinema display.

post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by meshope View Post

Maybe, but the CRTs for office use had sizes of 15-17-19".

You do realize I was saying that most of the size of a CRT is in its DEPTH, right? And CRTs then cost a lot. A 19" CRT takes more desk space than a 27" LCD, and I had zero trouble making a 19" CRT work on a dorm desk.

Quote:
And why is Apple offering a 21.5" iMac ? Because there are lot's of people who are simply over-challenged with this large displays, both by price and size. I assume that's the reason for Samsung, LG and others to offer best compromises like 23-24". Honestly I'm a bit annoyed by Apple, I'd far prefer a Cinema display.

You're repeating the size issue without really explaining why it's really a problem, you haven't even noted the dimensions of your desk. Repeating an assertion without backing it up when asked is pointless. Why is a 24" LCD fine and a 27" not? It's only 12% more desk space, and in return, you get 26% more screen space.

I'm guessing that the smaller iMac stays because it's still profitable. There used to be three sizes of Apple displays, but that was when the 30" was $2000-$3000 US, I think the 20" ACD was $999 US. The selection whittled to one, now it's a 27" at $999, with an added speaker pair, camera, mic and breakout ports for port replicating a laptop, or adding more ports to a desktop.
Edited by JeffDM - 3/4/13 at 8:51am
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You're repeating the size issue without really explaining why it's really a problem, you haven't even noted the dimensions of your desk. Repeating an assertion without backing it up when asked is pointless. Why is a 24" LCD fine and a 27" not? It's only 12% more desk space, and in return, you get 26% more screen space.

Physical size is the one point, resolution the other one. The onboard graphics of 13" MBP and MB Air isn't made for the resolution of a 27" display, the chip operates at it's limit, get's hot, fan works at limit too and becomes loud. Best choice for a 13" MBP is a 23/24" display with 1920*1080 resolution, 16:10 with  1920*1200 works fine too.

15" MBPs obviously do not have limitations due to it's dedicated graphics.

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