LG updating UltraFine 5K display to prevent Wi-Fi disruption

LG is going to be adding more shielding to its 5K UltraFine display following reports that Wi-Fi routers could knock out the picture.

Ina Fried, writing for recode:

"LG apologizes for this inconvenience and is committed to delivering the best quality products possible, so all LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K displays manufactured after February 2017 will be fitted with enhanced shielding," the company said in an e-mail.

My Wi-Fi router is nowhere near my LG display so I didn't experience this problem when working on my review. After reports surfaced, I moved the display next to the router and still didn't have the problem. So, I moved everything else out of the way, stuck the router right behind the display, and poof, picture gone.

As workarounds go, putting anything that's either shielded or composed of material that works as a shield is a temporary fix, though one that shouldn't be needed.

It's a baffling design error on LG's part and something Apple also should have caught before making it their defacto Thunderbolt display replacement.

Existing models will be able to be retrofitted with the enhanced shielding, which will allow the monitor to be placed near a router.

I'm curious to see how this is handled. Will LG be mailing out shielding? Asking people to come to a service center?

In the wake of this issue many are again wondering out loud why Apple didn't make their own Thunderbolt display — one that presumably wouldn't have had this problem. As I've said before, I'd have greatly preferred that:

As profit centers go, displays and routers and their ilk are likely less than a rounding error for Apple. They also pull focus. Part of Apple's success, though, has been the halo effect — once you start buying something Apple, you keep buying more things Apple. Once you get the device, you get the accessories. The opposite — a horn effect? — would be buying non-Apple accessories leading to buying non-Apple devices.A few more small yeses help support the bigger yeses. Mind share is invaluable and that makes it feel like key accessories, niche or not, are something Apple should absolutely still be in.

The engineering teams are working on more products than ever, though. Putting resources on behind getting their own displays out reduces the resources behind getting things like the Kaby Lake iMacs out. And people really want those new iMacs.

Still, it's issues like this that I hope encourages Apple to get back into the display business, late rather than never.

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.