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New Display Panels from AUO Spark Speculation of 4K Apple Displays

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.

Related roundup: Thunderbolt Display

Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
For the love of god, please make these matte, not glossy.
Rating: 16 Votes
12 months ago
Had my $1,000 to throw down months ago for a Thunderbolt Display if they just updated the form factor to match the benefits of the new (now 1 year old) 27" iMac display.

Since Apple has chosen to continue selling 3 year old tech for full price (USB 2.0, really?) I have had enough time to think and decided that I no longer have an interest in the display period. Apple's loss for not keeping up with the times across their product line. They would have had an extra $1,000 from me and likely many others.
Rating: 12 Votes
12 months ago

What's so wrong with sticking to what you know? In the age of 500 dollar 55 inch LED's, who's going to pay a premium for apple branded tv's?

Better question is: With tablets, and loads of streaming services, how many people actually sit down to watch TV regularly anymore?


Oh I don't know, probably a couple billion people?
Rating: 8 Votes
12 months ago
Just give us those displays!! Or at least refresh the current cinema displays in the thin imac form factor with usb 3!
Rating: 7 Votes
12 months ago
These are going to be expensive.
Rating: 6 Votes
12 months ago

What's so wrong with sticking to what you know? In the age of 500 dollar 55 inch LED's, who's going to pay a premium for apple branded tv's?

Better question is: With tablets, and loads of streaming services, how many people actually sit down to watch TV regularly anymore?


If you can't imaging the usefulness, leave it to the professionals to appreciate this new breed of displays.

Not everybody will watch TV on these.
Rating: 6 Votes
12 months ago

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Apple will have 4k displays to go with the new Mac Pros. Just because they didn't announce them at the unveiling doesn't mean they will leave money on the table. Apple said repeatedly the Mac Pro is able to drive 4k displays and they like to offer complete systems so just wait and we'll see displays soon enough,


The trick is will they only run at 30 hz? I haven't seen any indication of a 4K display thats able to run an 60-120 hz like current 2560x1600 monitors. Your eyes will not enjoy staring at 30 hz, unless apple has shares in lense crafters :)
Rating: 4 Votes
12 months ago
Apple didn't put 4K-sized wallpaper in Mavericks for no reason.
Rating: 3 Votes
12 months ago
"Apple's exacting quality standards" - lol!

I have two iMac 27"s with LG panels. Both displays developed horrible dust blotches after a year or so (they are inside the panels). A well known problem, but Apple won't address the issue. So much for exacting quality standards...
Rating: 3 Votes
12 months ago

What's so wrong with sticking to what you know? In the age of 500 dollar 55 inch LED's, who's going to pay a premium ...


You do realize that some 55" LEDs go for up to $4,000, right? Some with different technologies even double that?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/55-class-54-5-8-diag--led-4k-ultra-hd-tv-2160p-240hz-smart-3d-hdtv/1775101.p?id=1219063710165&skuId=1775101&st=55%20led&cp=1&lp=2 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/55-class-54-5-8-diag--led-4k-ultra-hd-tv-2160p-240hz-smart-3d-hdtv/1775101.p?id=1219063710165&skuId=1775101&st=55%20led&cp=1&lp=2)

Not everyone buys the cheapest product. There are reasons for buying more expensive things.
Rating: 3 Votes

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