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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Makes sense. The old panels look downright archaic next to the current iMacs.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Cue the rumors. This is proof positive Apple is making a 'real TV'
  • Reply 3 of 36


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

  • Reply 4 of 36
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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....
  • Reply 5 of 36
    macxpress wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member

    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.

  • Reply 7 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).

  • Reply 8 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


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

  • Reply 9 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 image).

  • Reply 10 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.
  • Reply 11 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

  • Reply 12 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.

    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.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 36


    Been waiting for this since my rMBP purchase

  • Reply 16 of 36
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.


    macxpress wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,864moderator
    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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Marvin wrote: »
    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...

    700
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