Apple Removes Personal Pickup for Thunderbolt Display

thunderbolt_display_elcap_roundup_headerWith only a few hours remaining until Apple's WWDC 2016 keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, a tipster informed us that Personal Pickup is no longer available for the Thunderbolt Display on Apple's online storefront.

A quick spot check reveals that Personal Pickup has indeed been removed on the Thunderbolt Display product page in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, and other countries where the tool is available.

The removal of Personal Pickup, a web-based tool for checking in-store availability of Apple products, will naturally stir speculation about a long-overdue Thunderbolt Display refresh at WWDC. The standalone display has not been updated since 2011, even though Apple could have released a new model with USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2, and a tapered iMac-style design as early as 2013.

Nowadays, the 27" Retina 5K iMac could be the basis for a corresponding 5K Thunderbolt Display, which could feature the same 5,120×2,880 pixels resolution, USB-C ports for connecting Thunderbolt 3 peripherals, and possibly an ultra-thin design resembling the latest iMacs. Apple could also release a 4K Thunderbolt Display, but supply chain considerations make that less likely.

Thunderbolt Display rumors have regained momentum since in-store availability of the display became depleted at several Apple Stores in the U.S., U.K., and Canada around two weeks ago. Speculation pointed towards a 5K Thunderbolt Display with an integrated GPU, but iMore's Rene Ritchie later said no such product will be announced at WWDC. He did not clarify if a refresh of any kind is off the table.

The removal of Personal Pickup should be treated as anecdotal evidence at best, however, especially since the tool was removed from Apple's AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule product pages as well, only to reappear some days later.

While there is always a chance that Apple could surprise developers with a crowd-pleasing Thunderbolt Display announcement, expectations should be kept low, as it is widely believed that WWDC will have few if any hardware announcements. The focus of the event will unsurprisingly be software, including iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, but wishful thinkers are undoubtedly holding out hope for "one more thing…" today.

Apple's keynote starts at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, with a live stream (spoiler free) available on Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV. MacRumors will also have full coverage of the event, with a live blog on our front page and updates in 140 characters or less through our @MacRumorsLive account on Twitter.

(Thanks, Ted!)

Related Roundups: Apple Display 6K, WWDC 2019


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38 months ago

I wouldn't get your hopes up. The beta site is down but the Apple Store isn't. The store would be down by now if new hardware was incoming.

What if iOS and OS X announcement would be talked for 20 mins each? We would have enough time to talk about hardwares.......sigh.......so much for Debbie downer.

Ready to toss apples at them.


Come on you two, can't we at least wait a few hours to confirm if pessimism is necessary? :)
Rating: 4 Votes
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38 months ago
The hardware lineup is so out of date. If it isn't updated today, it's approaching neglect and disrespect.

Either update the lineup or cut the prices. I'm half surprised they can even source the parts for these anymore.
Rating: 3 Votes
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38 months ago

Maybe but I think the reason they do that is to get people excited.

Maybe....Maybe they're changing it up on us making us think that there is no hardware to be announced and secretly updates the store while we're distracted by Craig's luscious hair.
Rating: 3 Votes
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38 months ago

Maybe Apple has finally learned how to update the store without having to take the whole site down.


Maybe but I think the reason they do that is to get people excited.
Rating: 3 Votes
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38 months ago
I wouldn't get your hopes up. The beta site is down but the Apple Store isn't. The store would be down by now if new hardware was incoming.
Rating: 3 Votes
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38 months ago

What exactly was the reason to remove personal pickup?


Probably because its a low-volume seller, they don't want to maintain huge stocks and the logistics of direct selling are easier. Maybe there's a high return/no-show rate. Whether it is replaced or not, this isn't a product that is going anywhere. If had ever been selling like hotcakes they'd have updated it to match the iMac years ago.

Apparently their business model is best served by new phones than by, um, a $3000+ machine isn't three friggin' years old ('http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/mac-pro').


Inconvenient truth: yes, it is. PC sales aren't making much money right now.

Seriously: if you want a kick-ass workstation for pro graphics or computational heavy lifting, you can order yourself up a Windows or Linux machine with exactly the permutation of hardware you want. The dealer may barely scrape a profit unless you buy finance or support from them - but that doesn't matter because they're not having to fund the development of their own OS and application suite or build their own motherboards and graphics cards. All hardware manufacturers provide Windows drivers by default, and between manufacturers and the open-source community, Linux is fairly well supported. In the good old days, DOS/Windows simply didn't cut the mustard for pro graphics/DTP/media and all the decent software was for Mac, so they had a huge advantage - these days, maybe macOS has some marginal advantages, but all the software supports Windows.

Meanwhile, more and more of the things that you needed a kick-ass workstation for 15 years ago can be handled by a half-decent laptop or by a cluster of black boxes somewhere on the internet.

Apple can't turn out a competitively priced tower system and make enough margin to fund macOS and not risk cannibalising iMac sales. The new Mac Pro was a brave attempt to create an alternative to the "big box of slots" for an era with fast external data connections - but with the drawback that Apple have to eat the development costs for any upgrade to the GPU boards etc.

To be fair, one of the selling points of the Mac Pro is stability/reliability of Xeon + parity-checked RAM + custom thermal design: Mac Pro users might be happier with waiting 48 hours for their render to finish vs. a bleeding edge system that did it in 40 hours but with a 10% chance of crashing or melting, while making a noise like a jet fighter.

No - Apple's problem is that its laptop line is getting stale, and there is still money in high-end ultraportables.

Well, I think the non-retina MacBook Pro is still a pretty useful machine.


Yes - that's part of Apple's (and the PC industry in general's) problem. Once upon a time, upgrading every 18 months gave you a night-and-day 100% performance increase. Now, upgrading after 3 years might give you a 20% higher cinebench score, which you won't notice c.f. your old machine with an SSD upgrade.
Rating: 2 Votes
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38 months ago

The hardware lineup is so out of date. If it isn't updated today, it's approaching neglect and disrespect.

Either update the lineup or cut the prices. I'm half surprised they can even source the parts for these anymore.


That's a little dramatic on the parts sourcing, haha. But I agree. Prices need to come down when they're using older tech in products.
Rating: 2 Votes
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38 months ago

Maybe Apple has finally learned how to update the store without having to take the whole site down.


Blasphemy !!!! It's impossible and everyone knows is !! He he
Rating: 2 Votes
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38 months ago

Come on you two, can't we at least wait a few hours to confirm if pessimism is necessary? :)

I'm going through doubting withdrawal. Lol I will try to wait few hrs.
Rating: 1 Votes
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38 months ago

I wouldn't get your hopes up. The beta site is down but the Apple Store isn't. The store would be down by now if new hardware was incoming.


Not really. Its such a low volume product that it could be announced today and available in a month or two
Rating: 1 Votes
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