Apple's Thunderbolt Display Classified as 'Vintage' Amid Rumors of a Replacement
Apple now considers the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display to be a "vintage" product because it has been close to five years since it was last offered for sale.
The Thunderbolt Display was today added to Apple's list of vintage and obsolete products, which are part of a support document on obtaining service for an Apple product after a warranty expires. Products are considered vintage when it’s between five and seven years since Apple stopped distributing them for sale.
Apple introduced the Thunderbolt Display in 2011, but never shipped updated models. It was discontinued on June 23, 2016, with no successor to follow. Apple in 2017 debuted LG UltraFine displays made in partnership with LG, but for many years, there was no Apple-designed display available.
That changed with the release of the Pro Display XDR, which accompanied the 2019 Mac Pro. At $5,000, the Pro Display XDR is not a replacement for the more affordable $999 Thunderbolt Display, but there are rumors suggesting Apple is developing a lower-priced Apple-branded external monitor.
There is no word on when a new display might be released, and as of January 2021, work on the new display was said to be in the early stages. To cut down on pricing, the rumored display is said to feature a screen geared for consumer use without the top-tier brightness and contrast.
Now that it's on the vintage list, the Thunderbolt Display may not be eligible for repair in some states and countries. Apple previously refused to offer repairs for products on the vintage list entirely, but as of 2019, select vintage products are eligible for service. Repairs are primarily available for vintage iPhones and Macs, however, so it is not clear if the Thunderbolt Display will be eligible.
In addition to adding the Thunderbolt Display to the vintage list, Apple has also included the original iPad Air, which was first released in 2013 and discontinued in 2016, and the 27-inch Apple Cinema Display, discontinued in 2014. The 2013 11 and 13-inch MacBook Pro models were moved from the vintage list to the obsolete list, which means repairs are no longer available.