Apple discontinues the Thunderbolt Display

Apple is discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display, the standard resolution, external IPS monitor the company has been selling since 2011. An Apple spokesperson provided us with the following statement:

"We're discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display," Apple told iMore. "It will be available through, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users."

Since the iMac got thin, hit 5K, and went wide gamut, there's been hope that the Thunderbolt Display would be updated to match. So far, though, the focus has stayed on iMac and the new MacBook. So why make an announcement? Existing stock will soon dry up, it'll cause frustration and speculation, and this gets out ahead of that.

Apple's next window for a higher-density hardware launch would likely be alongside a new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro later this year. That's if the company chooses to go with existing DisplayPort and Thunderbolt technology with some of its own magic thrown in. If they choose to wait on next-generation DisplayPort and Thunderbolt, well, then it'll be a while longer.

In the meantime, if you really want and external display with an Apple logo on it, go get one now before they run out. Otherwise there are some great third-party displays, up to and including 4K, or you can hold out and see what the future brings.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Apple is slowly getting out of the performance computer business.
  • They've proven that a few times. Like when they decided they'd rather take a cooling fan out and throttle CPU speed to cut heat and power use because they also made it so thin that they could only fit one port in the case. Apple doesn't care about speed and performance. They want thin, light and aesthetically pleasing. I say this as a Mac user since 1986. I've never bought a PC. But I'm considering my options now. I'm getting tired of meager devices at premium prices.
  • You forgot build quality. My first year MacBook Air is still going strong, only recently replaced the battery. Runs the latest OS, and still zippy. Not to mention free OS upgrades. And you also forgot about the MacBook Pro. Sent from the iMore App
  • You have to be careful with what you deem as build quality. I give an example;
    Years ago people would say a car was good quality because you could slam the boot shut with a good weighty thunk. This was becuase it ‘felt' substantial. Nowadays, the positioning and geometry of the hinge and also the hydraulic jack that assists the lift take all of that tactility away. Is it now of lesser quality though just becasue it doesn’t feel like it?
  • Apples spokesperson blew it, marketing blew it. Telling Apple users to go get another product doesn't lead me to believe there will be another display forth comming. If they release one after what they've just said to the public, there will be nashing of teeth, pitchforks and torches. I wondering how all those FCPro users feel, considering many were invited to a closed (Under extreme NDA) preview of what's coming to FCP at this past 2016 NAB. My mind is blown.
  • There have been perfectly functioning and well performing 4K and 5K options for a long time now. Not every piece of hardware people own needs to have an Apple logo on it. If people truly needed a higher resolution option, they would have bought it already. Anyone who follows tech news, which "Pros" would do, knows Apple's potential release cycle. None of this has been hard to figure out. They have been waiting for certain technologies and their next gen laptops to be ready before releasing, so if you want an Apple display, you have to wait.
  • Strange that they do this without a replacement. This almost feels like there won't be a replacement. Sent from the iMore App
  • How hard is it really to make this as a sub variant of the iMac? I find it hard to believe they can't earn 40% on these things at a 1000$ price point. As a TBD owner, I really can't imagine some other kind of monitor gracing my desk and looking so attractive. I like most everything about mine except for the occasional time it won't let my Mac mini drive it (solution is to leave it unplugged overnight, lousy but effective), and the fact that OS X keeps forgetting to remember the "set screen resolution to match device" setting All.The.****.Time!
  • What's a Thunderbolt Display? Who makes it again? Sent from the iMore App
  • I just hope they don't go making these kind of announcements having something in the pipeline for latter. I honestly don't see Apple making any big earth shattering hardware announcements this year. Given that ,if, they did a skylake bump to a macbook pro, would that warrent a spot in a sept show. I don't think so. imo . Kaby Lake is due Q1 from intel. Makes more sense that Apple has enginerring samples now, as well as AMD's Zen. Oh, and GPU's! Although there's some news floating around about ZEN having issues w/ USB 3.1 that may require and additional controller chip. Yeah, and Apple loves adding aditional chips. Not. Apple could very well have a display in the wings, just not to fly this year. KabyLake-TB3-GPU's-Big 2017 redesigns ushering the new Spaceship HQ era makes more sense to me. just my opine.
  • Makes me think Mac Pro and Mini are next on the chopping block.
    Why would you sell a product and then tell the customer if they need a display for it, to go to best buy and get one? Neither have been updated in 2+ years anyways.
  • Good replacement if you need a great monitor and not a cheap TN big box $200 junk.
  • I don't get why you have to buy things like Thunderbolt when you buy Mac, why can't Apple just put more storage in the base model? Sent from the iMore App
  • I realize this is strictly an apple fan site, but is anything apple ever does reported with any kind of non-biased viewpoint? I sincerely hope people who take information and advice from these bloggers do so with a raised eyebrow and a heavy reliance on their own due diligence before making any technology decisions/purchases for themselves. You would think with Apples tremendous resources that they wouldn't allow areas of their product set to get so stale over such a significant amount of time.
  • Sad really. It was the only display with a built in Thunderbolt break out box. Granted it was expensive, but **** it is a good looking monitor. My guess is they're done with the display business. Otherwise why make an announcement.
  • My personal theory is that they are switching to USB-C only in the future. They would not tell you to go to a competitor If they had new thunderbolt displays in the pipeline. Posted via the iMore App for Android