Apple Rumored to Launch Lower-Priced 24-Inch and 27-Inch External Displays: What to Expect
Since the Thunderbolt Display was discontinued in 2016, Apple has not offered a consumer-oriented external display. Apple did release the Pro Display XDR in 2019, but it is aimed at professionals and costs a hefty $4,999.
Fortunately, rumors suggest that Apple is developing two new lower-priced external displays that will be more suitable for everyday users. A new version of the Pro Display XDR with an Apple silicon chip is also said to be in development.
Heading into 2022, we've rounded up everything that we've heard so far about Apple's future display lineup below.
In January 2021, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman was first to report that Apple had started early development of a lower-priced external display to sell alongside the Pro Display XDR. Gurman said the display would be geared more towards consumer than professional use and would have lower brightness and contrast ratio compared to the Pro Display XDR.
In July 2021, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito reported that Apple was testing a new external display with an A13 chip, and he said it would likely be a new Pro Display XDR. The report speculated that the chip could help a Mac achieve better performance when connected to the display and/or enable some dedicated features like AirPlay.
Earlier this week, often-accurate leaker @dylandkt claimed that LG is developing two new displays that have the same specifications as the current 24-inch iMac and an upcoming 27-inch iMac. While he said the displays currently have unbranded enclosures, he believes they will likely end up being standalone Apple-branded displays.
According to @dylandkt, one of the standalone displays will be based on the current 24-inch iMac, which has the following specs:
- 4.5K Retina display with 4480×2520 resolution
- 500 nits brightness
- Support for 1 billion colors
- Support for DCI-P3 wide color gamut
- True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the color temperature of the light around you for a more natural viewing experience
Like the 24-inch iMac, the standalone 24-inch display likely won't have mini-LED backlighting or ProMotion, meaning the display won't have increased brightness for HDR content or a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.
Given that the 24-inch iMac starts at $1,299 in the United States, a standalone 24-inch display without any of the computer-related components like storage would almost certainly be priced at less than $1,299, but pricing ultimately remains to be seen.
According to @dylandkt, Apple's larger 27-inch display will be based on the rumored Apple silicon version of the 27-inch iMac. The leaker said this display appears to have mini-LED backlighting and a 120Hz variable refresh rate, so it should feature ProMotion.
Earlier this week, display industry analyst Ross Young claimed that Apple is planning to release a new 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display and ProMotion in the first half of 2022, so rumors do appear to be aligning for these products.
Little else is known about the 27-inch display at this point since the upcoming 27-inch iMac has yet to be released, so we don't have complete specs.
The current 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 in the United States.
New Pro Display XDR
LG is also working on a 32-inch display that is likely to be a new version of the Pro Display XDR, according to @dylandkt. The leaker said the display appears to be equipped with an unspecified Apple silicon chip and will gain support for ProMotion.
It's likely that the new Pro Display XDR would remain priced around $4,999.
Rumors have yet to provide a release timeframe for the new Apple displays, but @dylandkt said LG is still at an "early development" stage.