Thunderbolt Display shipping delay in Europe sparks hopes of Apple refresh once again

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Shipping times for Apple's Thunderbolt Display have slipped across Europe, once again conjuring up hopes that a new model with 5K Retina display could be in the works.

Thunderbolt display


European shoppers at the Apple online store now have an 8-day wait for new Thunderbolt Display orders to arrive in many countries. The delay was first publicized by Macerkopf.de.

In contrast, new Thunderbolt Display purchases elsewhere in the world, including the U.S. and Canada, remain widely available, with overnight delivery and in-store pickup.

Apple last updated its in-house external display product in 2011. In the years since, inventory of the Thunderbolt Display has dwindled on multiple occasions.

Inventory reduction and associated extended shipping times are frequently a sign that Apple is preparing to launch a new model. But as evidenced by past stock-outs of the Thunderbolt Display, this latest shipping delay may not amount to much.

Apple already sells a 27-inch Retina display panel as part of its larger iMac with 5K-resolution screen, packing in 14.7 million pixels. In contrast, the standard-resolution Thunderbolt Display has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,440, or about 3.7 million pixels.

A Retina Thunderbolt Display would be of particular interest to users of Apple's cylindrical Mac Pro. Apple itself has been selling alternative displays, like the 4K IGZO Sharp LED monitor, for those customers.

For the best alternatives to Apple's outdated Thunderbolt Display, see AppleInsider's comprehensive roundup.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    joe28753joe28753 Posts: 82member
    This is likely because the latest Thunderbolt 3 spec only supports up to DisplayPort 1.2. 5k monitors require DisplayPort 1.3 to work with a single cable. You can use 3rd party 5k monitors now on the latest systems, but it requires a computer and graphics card with two available ports and two cables. Thunderbolt 4 I believe was rumored to come out mid to late 2016 to line up with Display 1.4, using that spec instead, and supporting up to 8k monitors. That's probably what they're waiting for.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 2 of 20
    tap5atap5a Posts: 9member
    Actually Thunderbolt 3 makes it possible to run 5K monitor with single cable using Multi-Stream Transport and DisplayPort 1.2.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,424member
    tap5a said:
    Actually Thunderbolt 3 makes it possible to run 5K monitor with single cable using Multi-Stream Transport and DisplayPort 1.2.
    Yeah. It looks like Intel optimized for the case of two 4k monitors per cable, but no problem running 5k. Not sure about 8K but unless there's compression, I can't see it happening on a single cable.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 4 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    Sigh... we can only hope. 

    In addition to a 5k display, I'd hope new Mac Pros would also be forthcoming. 

    And just to be really nuts, I'd hope that new Mac Pros with the option for 2 CPUs and 1 GPU (in addition to the current 1 CPU and 2 GPUs) might be available. 

    But I'm not holding my breath. 
    dysamoriaargonaut
  • Reply 5 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I honestly don't think Apple sells enough monitors to bother with a refresh.   This is. Why they are selling third party monopitora for the Mac Pro.   
  • Reply 6 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    wizard69 said:
    I honestly don't think Apple sells enough monitors to bother with a refresh.   This is. Why they are selling third party monopitora for the Mac Pro.   
    I don't agree for three reasons. 

    1. Apple was making cinema displays back when Mac marketshare is a lot lower than it is now. If it was profitable to do it then, it should be profitable to do it now. 

    2. There's more to this than just the profit on the display, there's also brand considerations. Does Apple really want people to be staring at a Dell logo all day? 

    3. More broadly, Apple needs to go after every high-margin growth opportunity they can, even if some of those opportunities are small volume. Selling pro-level Macs and accessories, both laptop and desktop, needs to be part of that effort. I think Apple is leaving too many market segments underserved. It's not really even that they need more models -- they just needs to substantially upgrade the specs of the models they sell, and offer some more BTO options. 

    baconstangargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,424member
    blastdoor said:
    Sigh... we can only hope. 

    In addition to a 5k display, I'd hope new Mac Pros would also be forthcoming. 

    And just to be really nuts, I'd hope that new Mac Pros with the option for 2 CPUs and 1 GPU (in addition to the current 1 CPU and 2 GPUs) might be available. 

    But I'm not holding my breath. 
    Just out of curiosity, how would you benefit from dual processors? As an example, there's some pretty massively multicore versions (8890 v3) that are priced sky high, but the lower end ones aren't exactly cheap. Relative to that, GPGPU's are pretty low cost.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/family/78585/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E7-v3-Family#@Server

    The E3 Skylake models, which is what Apple would be providing, have just come out, so I'm not sure which ones would be the dual processor configurations.

    http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-purley-platform-upto-28-cores-56-threads/

    Pretty sure that these are the E5 2600 2S V3
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 8 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    tmay said:
    blastdoor said:
    Sigh... we can only hope. 

    In addition to a 5k display, I'd hope new Mac Pros would also be forthcoming. 

    And just to be really nuts, I'd hope that new Mac Pros with the option for 2 CPUs and 1 GPU (in addition to the current 1 CPU and 2 GPUs) might be available. 

    But I'm not holding my breath. 
    Just out of curiosity, how would you benefit from dual processors? As an example, there's some pretty massively multicore versions (8890 v3) that are priced sky high, but the lower end ones aren't exactly cheap. Relative to that, GPGPU's are pretty low cost.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/family/78585/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E7-v3-Family#@Server

    The E3 Skylake models, which is what Apple would be providing, have just come out, so I'm not sure which ones would be the dual processor configurations.

    http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-purley-platform-upto-28-cores-56-threads/

    Pretty sure that these are the E5 2600 2S V3
    I run monte carlo simulations in R that are not easily translated into a SIMD problem. I would benefit greatly from more general purpose cores, while GPUs are almost worthless to me. 

    I'm certainly not going to buy a Windows workstation since Windows is surprisingly bad at multitasking. But I might eventually be forced to go Linux, which would be disappointing since I strongly prefer using Macs. 

    I realize that the market that would benefit from more CPU cores is niche, but I suspect it's a profitable niche, and one that Apple could dominate if Apple were to actually try. 
    dysamoriaargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,424member
    blastdoor said:
    tmay said:
    Just out of curiosity, how would you benefit from dual processors? As an example, there's some pretty massively multicore versions (8890 v3) that are priced sky high, but the lower end ones aren't exactly cheap. Relative to that, GPGPU's are pretty low cost.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/family/78585/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E7-v3-Family#@Server

    The E3 Skylake models, which is what Apple would be providing, have just come out, so I'm not sure which ones would be the dual processor configurations.

    http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-purley-platform-upto-28-cores-56-threads/

    Pretty sure that these are the E5 2600 2S V3
    I run monte carlo simulations in R that are not easily translated into a SIMD problem. I would benefit greatly from more general purpose cores, while GPUs are almost worthless to me. 

    I'm certainly not going to buy a Windows workstation since Windows is surprisingly bad at multitasking. But I might eventually be forced to go Linux, which would be disappointing since I strongly prefer using Macs. 

    I realize that the market that would benefit from more CPU cores is niche, but I suspect it's a profitable niche, and one that Apple could dominate if Apple were to actually try. 
    Thanks, I understand. I think that Apple is targeting the creative markets (video/audio) so we won't likely see dual processor Mac Pro's.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,429member
    The Mac Pro would need an update too, no?

    these are the things I'm waiting on. I can blow my money cache one time. It's not going to a PC or a Mac built of laptop components. I need high-ppi display capability to do photography.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 11 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    tmay said:
    blastdoor said:
    I run monte carlo simulations in R that are not easily translated into a SIMD problem. I would benefit greatly from more general purpose cores, while GPUs are almost worthless to me. 

    I'm certainly not going to buy a Windows workstation since Windows is surprisingly bad at multitasking. But I might eventually be forced to go Linux, which would be disappointing since I strongly prefer using Macs. 

    I realize that the market that would benefit from more CPU cores is niche, but I suspect it's a profitable niche, and one that Apple could dominate if Apple were to actually try. 
    Thanks, I understand. I think that Apple is targeting the creative markets (video/audio) so we won't likely see dual processor Mac Pro's.
    I agree that is what Apple is targeting, but I contend that they should target more than that -- they should go after all the users who are (or were once) served by high-end Unix workstations. Right now Apple is only really going after the SGI users. They should also go after the Sun, DEC, and (cough) NeXT users, too. Right now I think a lot of those users are suffering with Windows machines. Sad. 
  • Reply 12 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    blastdoor said:

    I run monte carlo simulations in R that are not easily translated into a SIMD problem. I would benefit greatly from more general purpose cores, while GPUs are almost worthless to me. 

    I have noticed that the more cores, the slower the clock speed. This affects the user case performance. For example someone who uses CC suite but does not do heavy extended video rendering work would actually experience slower performance with the 8-12 core build than they would with a 4 core build. In this scenario they might benefit from dual CPUs with a higher clock speed verses a single multi core CPU with slower clock speed. I'm no expert in these matters but for quick tasks I think the standard 4 core is actually faster than the multi-core models.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    volcan said:
    blastdoor said:

    I run monte carlo simulations in R that are not easily translated into a SIMD problem. I would benefit greatly from more general purpose cores, while GPUs are almost worthless to me. 

    I have noticed that the more cores, the slower the clock speed. This affects the user case performance. For example someone who uses CC suite but does not do heavy extended video rendering work would actually experience slower performance with the 8-12 core build than they would with a 4 core build. In this scenario they might benefit from dual CPUs with a higher clock speed verses a single multi core CPU with slower clock speed. I'm no expert in these matters but for quick tasks I think the standard 4 core is actually faster than the multi-core models.
    I definitely agree. I'd much rather have two 8 core CPUs than one 16 core CPU. The irony is that not only would two 8 core CPUs be faster, it would also be cheaper (that's probably more a function of Intel's price discrimination scheme than the underlying costs of those two options, but from my perspective that hardly matters). 
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 14 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,542moderator
    wizard69 said:
    I honestly don't think Apple sells enough monitors to bother with a refresh.   This is. Why they are selling third party monopitora for the Mac Pro.   
    The displays are grouped in amongst their 'other' category. Back when it was mostly just displays and early Apple TV, the category was making $0.5-1b. For a product costing $999, it won't be more than 500k units for the displays per quarter.

    Their Mac userbase has grown so the demand for their displays could have grown with it. It used to share a panel with the 27" iMac but that's changed since the iMac moved to high-res panels so maybe they will just exhaust their panel supplies.

    Stock shortages have happened before:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/02/28/thunderbolt-display-stock-outs-continue-as-apples-imac-inventory-improves

    I think it would be a nice display if they did update it (laminated, very slim, anti-glare) and it makes sense to have a Retina display for the Mac Pro. It doesn't need to be the iMac's 5K resolution. If it's very wide (5120 x 2160), the bandwidth would be low enough to support 10-bit, even over TB2 on the original Mac Pro and older machines. This would be cut in half to 2560x1080 on scaling but would support 3840x1620 scaled (essentially 1.5 iMacs side-by-side).
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 15 of 20
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Bring Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Generation 2 pots and SDXC Maximum Speed reader.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    joe28753 said:
    This is likely because the latest Thunderbolt 3 spec only supports up to DisplayPort 1.2. 5k monitors require DisplayPort 1.3 to work with a single cable. You can use 3rd party 5k monitors now on the latest systems, but it requires a computer and graphics card with two available ports and two cables. Thunderbolt 4 I believe was rumored to come out mid to late 2016 to line up with Display 1.4, using that spec instead, and supporting up to 8k monitors. That's probably what they're waiting for.
    Would the DisplayPort thing matter if the Thunderbolt Display had a built in GPU, I.e one that could act as an external GPU via Thunderbolt 3? This would make a lot of sense for hooking up something like a next gen MacBook 12-inch right?
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 17 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    Marvin said:
    wizard69 said:
    I honestly don't think Apple sells enough monitors to bother with a refresh.   This is. Why they are selling third party monopitora for the Mac Pro.   
    The displays are grouped in amongst their 'other' category. Back when it was mostly just displays and early Apple TV, the category was making $0.5-1b. For a product costing $999, it won't be more than 500k units for the displays per quarter.

    Their Mac userbase has grown so the demand for their displays could have grown with it. It used to share a panel with the 27" iMac but that's changed since the iMac moved to high-res panels so maybe they will just exhaust their panel supplies.

    Stock shortages have happened before:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/02/28/thunderbolt-display-stock-outs-continue-as-apples-imac-inventory-improves

    I think it would be a nice display if they did update it (laminated, very slim, anti-glare) and it makes sense to have a Retina display for the Mac Pro. It doesn't need to be the iMac's 5K resolution. If it's very wide (5120 x 2160), the bandwidth would be low enough to support 10-bit, even over TB2 on the original Mac Pro and older machines. This would be cut in half to 2560x1080 on scaling but would support 3840x1620 scaled (essentially 1.5 iMacs side-by-side).
    My impression is that many people also by Apple displays for their laptops (when used at a desk). Once the MacBook Pro has the ability to drive a 5k external display, I would think the market for these things would be quite a bit bigger than just Mac Pro users. 
    neilbillyfastasleepargonaut
  • Reply 18 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member

    neilbilly said:
    joe28753 said:
    This is likely because the latest Thunderbolt 3 spec only supports up to DisplayPort 1.2. 5k monitors require DisplayPort 1.3 to work with a single cable. You can use 3rd party 5k monitors now on the latest systems, but it requires a computer and graphics card with two available ports and two cables. Thunderbolt 4 I believe was rumored to come out mid to late 2016 to line up with Display 1.4, using that spec instead, and supporting up to 8k monitors. That's probably what they're waiting for.
    Would the DisplayPort thing matter if the Thunderbolt Display had a built in GPU, I.e one that could act as an external GPU via Thunderbolt 3? This would make a lot of sense for hooking up something like a next gen MacBook 12-inch right?
    What an intriguing suggestion.... 

    I don't know enough about how GPUs (and the software stack) works, but I wonder if it would also be possible to have the display-housed GPU work in tandem, at least to a certain extent, with the GPU in the computer. Maybe not exactly crossfire/SLI (since the TB3 connection might be too slow for that), but at least have the computer-housed GPU help out with computations that occur before pixels are actually generated... 
  • Reply 19 of 20
    I am quite glad I bought my Thunderbolt Monitor when I did. It's a great screen and it's been a great investment. (Also matches my 2011 MacBook Pro perfectly.) I was sure Apple would release new monitors once the new iMacs started having way thinner LCDs. But that never happened. When the Mac Pro launched I was sure there'd be 4K monitors around the corner ... but nope. I suspect they'll do two monitors this time, one 5K 27 inch for Pros and people who love giant monitors. And a smaller one that'll be USB C powered that'll work with the MacBook and new MacBook Air and Pros that'll launch alongside the new monitor. I also wouldn't entirely be surprised if they release a USB powered monitor that can run off of a USB to Lightning cable (probably once they start shipping USB C to Lightning cables) which would allow an iPad or iPhone to be connected to the monitor. Heck if they did that I'd love to see the screen then have touch and pencil support. (Though I think we're probably at least 5 years away from Apple deciding that's a good idea. I mean we're just now going to start getting Siri on the Mac if rumours are true.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    neilbilly said:
    joe28753 said:
    This is likely because the latest Thunderbolt 3 spec only supports up to DisplayPort 1.2. 5k monitors require DisplayPort 1.3 to work with a single cable. You can use 3rd party 5k monitors now on the latest systems, but it requires a computer and graphics card with two available ports and two cables. Thunderbolt 4 I believe was rumored to come out mid to late 2016 to line up with Display 1.4, using that spec instead, and supporting up to 8k monitors. That's probably what they're waiting for.
    Would the DisplayPort thing matter if the Thunderbolt Display had a built in GPU, I.e one that could act as an external GPU via Thunderbolt 3? This would make a lot of sense for hooking up something like a next gen MacBook 12-inch right?
     What a great idea!
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