Archive of Apple Cinema Display Rumors

imac_27_angleFollowing several recent reports on Apple's long-rumored ultra-thin 12-inch notebook, Jack March is now reporting that Apple is indeed working on a 27-inch "5K" Retina iMac with a resolution of 5120 x 2880. According to the report, which MacRumors has reason to believe is based on legitimate information, the machine could launch as soon as next month.
A source familiar with Apple’s plans tells me that Apple is indeed planning to launch a Retina iMac at their next press event, however the 27″ Model will be the only model that gets this feature. The source says the new 27″ iMac will use a 5120 x 2880 panel as leaked in the OSX Yosemite code a few months ago. This resolution is double the current resolution of the 27″ iMac which is 2560×1440.
This new 27-inch Retina iMac would continue to use Haswell processors, topping out at the 4.0 GHz Core i7-4790K, as Intel's next-generation Broadwell processors will not be ready until possibly the middle of next year. The report also claims Apple will be switching to AMD graphics for this new iMac, while the overall design and port configuration would remain the same as the current model.

The report's sources suggest the move to Retina will be limited to the larger 27-inch iMac at this time, with the 21.5-inch model continuing to use the current 1920 x 1080 display.

Rumors of a 27-inch Retina display or iMac from Apple have been circulating for some time, but have picked up steam in recent weeks with a specific claim of a 5K Apple display launching before the end of the year, as well as Dell's own announcement of such a display. With finalization of the DisplayPort 1.3 specification, connectivity will also become easier as that standard rolls out, allowing for single-cable uncompressed video at 5K resolutions.

Update 6:46 AM: 9to5Mac is hearing similar information about Retina iMacs being in "late testing stages" at Apple.

Update 9:00 AM: Re/code's John Paczkowski is also hearing similar word.

Update 10:22 AM: Paczkowski has now included a blurb on the topic in his latest column, quoting a source saying "expect a fall release."
imac_27_angleWith Dell having announced its upcoming 5120 x 2880 "5K" display that would be the equivalent of a Retina 27-inch iMac or Apple Thunderbolt Display and Apple rumored to be launching its own such display later this year, connectivity options for such displays have now taken a significant step forward with today's official release of the DisplayPort 1.3 specification by the Video Electronics Standards Association (via 9to5Mac).

The new standard offers a 50 percent increase in bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, or 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data once overhead is accounted for.
The increased bandwidth enables higher resolution monitors, including recently announced 5K monitors (with pixel resolutions of 5120 x 2880) using a single DisplayPort cable, without the use of compression. It will also enable higher resolutions when driving multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream feature, such as the use of two 4K UHD monitors, each with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, when using VESA Coordinated Video Timing.
Apple has been rumored for some time to be working on Retina iMacs and displays, but connectivity bottlenecks have been one of the factors slowing progress in that area.

The previous DisplayPort 1.2a standard offered enough bandwidth to support 4K displays without compression, but pushing resolutions to 5K has presented difficulties for connectivity. With the new DisplayPort 1.3 standard, which will presumably be built into future Thunderbolt implementations, computer manufacturers such as Apple will be able to fully support the new high-resolution displays set to hit the market in the coming months.
Apple may launch a new ultra-high definition 27-inch monitor later this year, according to LCD market research firm WitsView (via Digitimes). The firm claims that the display will boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution, which would be significantly higher than the 2560 x 1440 resolution found on the current Apple Thunderbolt Display.

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However, it is unknown as to how exactly Apple would power such a high resolution display with the current DisplayPort 1.2 standard used in Thunderbolt 2. A number of Apple's computers including the Mac Pro (late 2013), 27-inch iMac (late 2013), and Retina MacBook Pro (late 2013 and mid 2014) are able to power 4K displays with one Thunderbolt port, but can only do so at designated refresh rates.

It is more likely that Apple would release a new monitor with a "Cinema 4K" resolution of 4096 x 2160, which is the maximum supported resolution by the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. Such a monitor would also be able to take advantage of the 20 Gbps data transfer rate of Thunderbolt 2 to stabilize performance at a high resolution.

An 27-inch 5K ultra high-definition monitor from Apple would also come after Dell's 5K display, which was announced last month and boast a 5120 x 2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch. It is also unknown as to what technology Dell with use to power the monitor, although AnandTech speculates that the company may use Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to stitch together two 2560 x 2880 panels in order to provide 5120 pixels horizontally.

Apple's Thunderbolt Display debuted nearly three years ago, although it is hard to predict when the company will unveil a new monitor based the erratic upgrade cycle of past displays. In addition to a higher-resolution screen, a new Apple display would also likely feature an iMac-like design and USB 3.0.
Dell yesterday unveiled its new $2500 27-inch 5K monitor (UP2715K) that boasts an impressive 5120 x 2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch. This ultra-high resolution places the monitor on par with Apple's Retina MacBook Pro, which has a pixel density of 220 pixels per inch, and would be the equivalent of a Retina 27-inch iMac or Apple Thunderbolt Display.

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Dell does not detail the technology powering the monitor, but AnandTech believes the company is using Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to stitch together two 2560 x 2880 panels in order to provide 5120 pixels horizontally. Dell demoed the monitor to Maximum PC using a 5K H.265 video streamed from a workstation-class NVIDIA Quadro K5000 video card.

As outlined in our display roundup, customers have been looking toward a higher-resolution large display from Apple for some time, whether it be a true Retina version of the existing display or a somewhat lower resolution 4K display, particularly since Apple has been touting the 4K capabilities of the new Mac Pro. Rumors of Retina iMacs date back to 2012, but the machines have yet to appear, likely due to both cost and technological constraints.

With Dell listing its display at $2500, it is clear pricing remains a challenge for Apple's ambitions to launch Retina iMacs and standalone displays. Standalone displays may stand a better chance, as Apple has historically been willing to develop expensive large-screen displays priced in the thousands of dollars for its pro-level customers. An iMac almost certainly priced well north of $3000 could be a difficult proposition, however, so Apple may yet need more time for prices to come down before such a machine becomes commercially feasible.


Besides its impressive resolution, Dell's monitor ships with Dell's PremierColor technology and an edge-to-edge glass that includes both anti-smudge and anti-reflective properties. Also included in the display is an integrated media reader, six USB ports and 16W Harmon Kardon speakers. Video out support includes dual DisplayPort 1.2 ports for 5K video and a miniDisplayPort for 4K operation.

Dell's UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K monitor will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
Following an earlier report on the launch of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, 9to5Mac has released a second report with details on OS X Yosemite and Apple's fall Mac plans. As has been previously mentioned, OS X Yosemite will launch in October, following iOS 8's September release alongside the iPhone 6.

The final Yosemite Developer Preview is expected to be seeded to developers on September 29, with a final golden master build coming around October 10, which suggests a late-October public launch date for Yosemite.

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October will also see the potential introduction of the iWatch, as has been widely rumored, and Apple may also be planning to unveil several new products designed to promote Yosemite, including a smaller 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution display and a new desktop computer, which may be an iMac or a standalone monitor with a 4K resolution screen.

Along with providing a few details on the desktop Retina machine, 9to5Mac's report echoes several details on the 12-inch MacBook previously shared by rumor sites, suggesting it will have a Retina display and a "thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body."
Apple believes that this new Retina MacBook will be a significant step forward in the laptop industry, and it is currently unclear if Apple will label this machine as a smaller MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Air, or as an entirely new line.

While it is possible Apple will market the aforementioned 4K desktop as a "Retina" machine, the technology for true pixel-doubling of the current 27-inch iMac and Thunderbolt Display's 2560 x 1440 resolution is not ready for market.
9to5Mac's sources indicate the 12-inch Retina MacBook and the iMac are on pace to ship in late in the third quarter or in the fourth quarter, but could be pushed back to early 2015, which is in line with recent rumors about the 12-inch Retina MacBook. A report has suggested the notebook's launch will be pushed back due to continued Broadwell delays.

Rumors have also long focused on a possible Retina iMac and/or a 4K display, and back in June, hints of a Retina iMac were found in the OS X Yosemite beta. Less has been said about a potential 4K display in recent months, but an update to Apple's Thunderbolt Display is long overdue.

Along with new Macs, Yosemite's introduction may also include updates to both iMovie and Final Cut Pro to improve support for video captured with 4K cameras.
Just released earlier tonight, Apple's OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 beta appears to have built-in support that enables all compatible 4K displays to be set at a "Retina" resolution, with an option for 60Hz output. The compatibility was first discovered by Twitter user @KhaosT, and was tested with both the Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro and redesigned Mac Pro in conjunction with Dell's UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor.

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To this point, OS X compatibility with 4K displays has been known to be somewhat erratic, as AnandTech revealed in December that Sharp's 32'' 4K display supported only one scaled resolution at 2560 x 1440. Furthermore, it was discovered that Apple had chosen to render text, menu and UI elements in the same manner as the Retina MacBook Pro, resulting in small and difficult to read on-screen elements on a 4K display. Various other 4K monitors were also found to be not properly supported.

Native support for 4K displays could also indicate that Apple is gearing up to release a higher-resolution Thunderbolt Display, as Apple last refreshed the monitor over two years ago. A number of other companies also introduced more affordable 4K displays at CES 2014 in January, with options from the likes of Lenovo, Asus, Seiki, and LG expected to hit the market throughout this year.
Last month, Dell announced several new "4K" displays for its lineup, including a teaser for an upcoming 28-inch model to be priced at "under $1000". While the pricing range was considered a breakthrough at the time, several other display manufacturers announced their own offerings at CES this week with pricing in the $800 range.

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But as highlighted by Forbes, Dell has now revealed that its display will be launching on January 23 with an even lower price of $699.
The P2815Q will have a full 3840 x 2160 4K resolution and launch globally on January 23. Dell hasn’t yet discussed things like refresh rate or range of inputs (I’m sure DisplayPort is a given), but they do promise the same “screen performance” as the new UltraSharp 32 and UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD monitors. That’s certainly encouraging since their UltraSharp line is normally a cut above when it comes to professional displays.

The monitor will even include the ability to pivot to portrait mode as well as a range of adjustable viewing heights and angles. They’ll be selling accessories too, like a stereo sound bar and monitor arm.
Plunging prices for 4K/Ultra HD displays come just as Apple has launched its new Mac Pro, with its dual graphics cards capable of supporting up to three such displays simultaneously. The latest version of Apple's Retina MacBook Pro is also capable of driving a 4K display, taking advantage of the new Thunderbolt 2 standard to handle the throughput.

Many had hoped that Apple would release its own 4K/Ultra HD display alongside the Mac Pro, but the company did not do so, instead offering Mac Pro and MacBook Pro customers the option of adding on a $3600 32-inch Sharp Ultra HD display.
A number of companies introduced new 4K display options at CES this week, and, though some 4K monitors have seen early teething pains with the new Mac Pro, the new displays are expected to be compatible with Apple's new pro machine.

4K displays saw significant price drops in 2013 with a number of models introduced in recent months but these new options are, for the most part, significantly cheaper than currently available 4K monitors.

Asus pb287q
Lenovo debuted its ThinkVision Pro2840m, a 28" 4K display aimed at professionals with a 3840x2160 resolution. The monitor should be available in April for $800.

Asus also has a 3840x2160 display available, a 28-inch panel called the PB287Q, priced at $800. It will be available in the second quarter of 2014.

Finally, Seiki confirmed to MacRumors that it will announce a new 28" 4K display tomorrow, likely a budget-option as the company currently has a 39-inch 4K television available for just $500, significantly cheaper than similar alternatives.

LG widescreen 31 inch 4k 2013 12 17 01
LG's new ultra-widescreen non-4K displays

LG previously announced a 4K display, the 31-inch 31MU95, that is wider than most other options using a 19:10 ratio widescreen panel at 4096x2160, whereas the most other 4K displays use a 16:9 ratio. LG will also offer 34-inch and 29-inch options with much wider 21:9 screens at lower, non-4K resolutions. Those panels should be announced later this week at CES.
In its European Apple Online Stores, Apple has begun offering a 32-inch Sharp "4K" Ultra HD LED monitor. Retailing for £3,499.00 or approximately $5,700, the monitor has been available in the U.K. and other European countries since on or before November 30.

The 32-inch IGZO display, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, is not available in the United States and it is not clear why Apple has decided to offer it solely in Europe for the time being.

sharpdisplay
With its 32-inch class (31.5-inch diagonal) screen size, 3840 x 2160 high definition resolution and energy efficient edge-lit LED backlight, the Sharp PN-K321 monitor is ideal for professional applications where it's essential to view detailed information displayed with precision. This super-high resolution display allows you to view the content of four full HD screens on a single seamless display. It also features IGZO* technology, which supports increased pixel transparency and reduced current leakage, thereby making the monitor more energy efficient.
Sharp's LED display offers a 1.07 billion color palette, an 800:1 contrast ratio, and 350cd/m2 brightness. While it does come with DisplayPort support, it does not come with a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter and will require users to purchase a third party adapter.

The appearance of the Sharp display in Apple's Online Store comes amid rumors that Apple is preparing its own 4K displays. Earlier this month, new display panels with DisplayPort appeared from AUO, sparking speculation that they could be used by Apple for a future 4K Thunderbolt display.

Dell debuted its own 4K Ultra HD displays earlier this week, offering a 32-inch model for $3,499, and a 24-inch model for $1,399. Dell also has a sub-$1000 28-inch model in the works for 2014, and as Apple and Dell have historically used the same panel supplier, Dell's offerings may provide an early look at what to expect when Apple does release its 4K displays.

Apple's recently refreshed Retina MacBook Pros are able to support a single 4K monitor and the upcoming Mac Pro is able to support up to three 4K displays. The Mac Pro may be on or near December 16, according to a German retailer that began taking pre-orders ahead of the product's launch, but it remains unclear when Apple might debut an updated Thunderbolt Display.

Update: Apple has removed the Sharp display from its online stores.
Following the initial revelation of some details on a new 24-inch 3840 x 2160 "4K" Ultra HD display from Dell yesterday, the company has now officially announced that the display launches today in the Americas with a $1399 price tag. A 32-inch model at the same resolution is also available for $3499, while Dell will be introducing a 28-inch 4K display in early 2014 with breakthrough pricing of under $1000.

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24-inch UP2414Q (left) and 32-inch UP3214Q (right)

All three displays carry the same 3840 x 2160 resolution, giving them varying pixel densities ranging from 140 pixels per inch (ppi) on the 32-inch model to 157 ppi on the upcoming 28-inch model and 185 ppi on the 24-inch model.
The flagship Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor delivers stunning screen clarity and detail with Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution and high pixel density on an expansive 31.5-inch screen. Dell’s largest monitor allows for easy multi-tasking and viewing multiple applications side by side, and its ultra-wide viewing angle ensures that images and colors remain consistent regardless of the perspective. Designed for graphic designers, video and game developers, CAD/CAM designers, engineers, photographers and other power users, the Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor provides an exceptional, high performance viewing experience.

With the same remarkable, pin-point clarity, the Dell UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor, users can enjoy color consistency and precision from virtually any angle thanks to an ultra-wide viewing angle on a 28.3-inch screen. The UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor allows customers to see more and do more with uncompromising picture quality that facilitates multi-tasking on a screen that delivers four times more data than a Full HD monitor.
Both the 24-inch and 32-inch displays support refresh rates of 60 Hz over DisplayPort 1.2 and 30 Hz over HDMI, as well as a variety of ports including HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 ports, and a media card reader. Both displays also offer height, tilt, and swivel adjustments.

Exact details on the upcoming 28-inch model have yet to be released, but Dell says that it will offer "the same incredible Ultra HD screen performance" as the other members of the 4K display family and will carry multiple input ports for flexible connectivity.

Dell's new 4K displays arrive just as speculation regarding a potential 4K display from Apple has escalated ahead of the launch of the new Mac Pro later this month. Apple touts the new Mac Pro as being able to drive up to three 4K displays, but the company has not made any announcements about its display plans. The recent introduction of new 4K display panels from AU Optronics fueled speculation that Apple could be nearing an introduction for new displays, but Dell's displays may be the strongest hint yet that Apple may have something in the works given the two companies have typically used the same panel suppliers for their displays.
Dell up2414q heroDell has posted details of a new 24-inch monitor sporting a 3840x2160 "4K" Ultra HD resolution at 185 pixels per inch on its website (via Anandtech), suggesting the company may soon be selling 4K monitors to its consumer and business customers. No pricing or release date information, however, was included in the listing.

The development could provide insight into future Apple 4K monitor offerings as the two companies have historically used the same supplier for their display panels.

From Dell's listing:
See more of everything — down to the smallest detail

Whether it’s video editing, CGI animation or application and game development, the Dell UltraSharp 24 Monitor – UP2414Q gives you an up-close-and-personal view.

- Our highest pixel density sharpens the tiniest details in videos and images for stunning results.
- Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 packs in four times the resolution of Full HD.
- Get a clear and consistent view with an ultrawide 178°/178° viewing angle.

Diagonally Viewable Size: 60.47 cm 23.8" (23.8-inch wide viewable image size)
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9)
Panel Type, Surface: In-plane switching, anti glare with hard coat 3H
Optimal resolution: 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz (DP1.2*)
3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz HDMI
Contrast Ratio: 1000: 1 (typical) 2 Million:1 (Max) (Dynamic Contrast Ratio)
Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (typical)
Response Time: 8 ms (gray to gray)
Viewing Angle: (178° vertical / 178° horizontal)
Color Support: Color Gamut (typical): Adobe RGB 99%, sRGB 100%
1.07 Billion colors (8 Bits +AFRC)
Pixel Pitch: 0.137 mm
Pixel Per Inch (PPI): 185
Backlight Technology: LED
Display Type: Widescreen Flat Panel Display
Display Screen Coating: Antiglare with hard-coating 3H
It is unknown if Apple would use the same 16:9 3840 x 2160 panels for a 4K display, as some have suggested that the company may prefer to push Thunderbolt 2 to its limit and support the wider 4096 x 2160 "Cinema 4K" standard given that the display will undoubtedly be targeted at professionals, many of whom in the film industry will be working with content using that resolution standard adopted for film production.

With the new Mac Pro, expected sometime this month, supporting up to three 4K displays simultaneously, there had been hopes that Apple would release updated Thunderbolt displays with 4K displays in the near future. Though these new 4K display panels have been announced from a number of potential suppliers, we have heard no firm details about new Thunderbolt displays from Apple.

Update: Dell has now officially announced the UP2414Q display, which launches in the Americas today for $1399 and will be available worldwide on December 16. A 32-inch UP3214Q model is also available for $3499 and a 28-inch model priced at under $1000 will follow in early 2014.
When Apple gave its full unveiling of the new Mac Pro at last month's media event, many observers were disappointed that the company did not also announce new higher-resolution displays to complement the radically redesigned professional desktop, which Apple touts as being able to support up to three 4K displays simultaneously.

But the recent introduction of new 27-inch and 32-inch 4K display panels from AU Optronics (via Reddit and AmongTech) is sparking speculation that Apple could yet have a display announcement in the relatively near future. Both panel sizes offer 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which could use the new Thunderbolt 2 connectivity standard to support either much larger desktops than with the 2560 x 1440 resolution of the current Apple Thunderbolt Display or high-quality "Retina" sharpness at an equivalent of 1920 x 1080.

auo_27_4k_panel
Apple currently uses well-regarded LG panels in its Apple Thunderbolt Display, and it is unclear if the new panels from AU Optronics will meet Apple's exacting quality standards. Still, many have been looking for technology that would even allow Apple to offer a 4K display alongside the Mac Pro, and the new AU Optronics panels using the embedded DisplayPort (eDP) signaling standard embraced by Apple appear to be a significant step in that direction.

Even if Apple were to launch 4K displays using these panels, timing remains unclear as Panelook listings for the new panels indicate that they are "in production" but with customer sampling and mass production not scheduled until the first quarter of next year.

Also in question is whether Apple would even use 16:9 3840 x 2160 panels for a 4K display, as some have suggested that the company may prefer to push Thunderbolt 2 to its limit and support the wider 4096 x 2160 "Cinema 4K" standard given that the display will undoubtedly be targeted at professionals, many of whom in the film industry will be working with content using that resolution standard adopted for film production.