Apple Says It's Out of the Standalone Display Business

Alongside the new MacBook Pro, Apple introduced a 27-inch 5K UltraFine Display made in partnership with LG, calling into question future plans for an Apple-branded display product.

While rumors have suggested Apple is working on a Thunderbolt Display replacement powered by an integrated GPU, Apple's LG partnership seems to indicate that Apple may have shelved plans to build a new display, something that's been confirmed by The Verge's Nilay Patel. According to Patel, Apple told him it is out of the standalone display business.

The last rumors about an Apple-branded display came in June of 2016 from BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, a reliable source, so if Apple has ceased work on its own display product, it's a decision that may have been made rather recently.

In lieu of its own display, Apple is selling the aforementioned 5K display product from LG and a second LG-branded 4K display, both of which have been designed with input from Apple and optimized for Apple products. As pointed out by Jason Snell of Six Colors, the brightness and settings of the LG display can be adjusted from the Mac, suggesting a deeper level of hardware integration than you'd get with a standard 5K display.

Priced at $1,299.95, the 5K LG UltraFine display uses multi-stream transport and connects to the new MacBook Pro using a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. Because it requires Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, it's only compatible with the MacBook Pro (and any future Macs equipped with Thunderbolt 3).

LG's 21.5-inch 4K UltraFine display is more affordable at $699.95, and because it doesn't require Thunderbolt 3, it's compatible with any USB-C Mac, including the new MacBook Pro and the less powerful MacBook.

Both displays offer charging capabilities, support for wide color gamut, built-in stereo speakers, and include additional ports on the back for connecting accessories. The larger 5K display also includes a camera and a microphone, offering all of the features that might have been included in an Apple-designed display.

Related Roundup: Apple Pro Display XDR

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago
This just in...
Apple is out of the Mac Pro business.
Rating: 154 Votes
43 months ago
I think it's clear that Apple is no longer in the "pro computing" business at all.
Rating: 102 Votes
43 months ago
that's really unfortunate. this probably doesn't speak well for their interest in desktops either
Rating: 75 Votes
43 months ago
Seems Apples out of the desktop computer business too considering Mac Pro and Mac Mini stagnation, SAD.
Rating: 75 Votes
43 months ago
Apple seems to be asleep at the wheel lately. Time for new leadership I think.
Rating: 60 Votes
43 months ago
Apple please just stop making announcements. We can't take anymore of this.
Rating: 55 Votes
43 months ago
They're dropping out of the "Pro" business entirely at this rate.
Rating: 48 Votes
43 months ago
Very disappointing, I don't want some ugly plastic LG display (no matter how nice the panel) sitting on my desk amidst all of my much nicer Apple stuff. And hell, at $1300, it has the Apple tax to boot. The stand on that LG one has got to be the most uninspired design I've ever seen, it looks like some heavy iron thing that you'd find in your garage, like a bike work stand base or something.

Guess it's a good thing I've been hanging onto my 24" LED ACD all these years. I was happy to pay $900 for this. I wouldn't pay that much for LG anything.
Rating: 46 Votes
43 months ago
Holy over dramatic posters...
Rating: 43 Votes
43 months ago
Pretty soon Apple will be out of the Mac business altogether.
Rating: 41 Votes

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