Is Apple prepping to refresh Thunderbolt Display?

Thunderbolt Display (two-up, MacBook Pro)

Apple hasn’t refreshed the beautiful Thunderbolt Display since its July 2011 debut. That could change soon, however, as shipping times for the Thunderbolt Display have risen sharply across its European stores.

As first noted by German blog, customers in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and other major markets in Europe are now faced with an eight-day delay when ordering a Thunderbolt Display.

The iMac lineup currently includes models with 4K and 5K screens.

Building a 4K, 5K or even 8K-enabled Thunderbolt Display is a no-brainer, but Apple will need to borrow some of the iMac’s display technologies because a 5K external display would require an appropriate interface to transport the data.

Coincidentally or not, earlier in the month the Video Electronics Standards Association has unveiled the new DisplayPort 1.4 standard for ultra high-resolution external display connections over both DisplayPort and USB-C connectors.

VESA DisplayPort 1.4 compression comparison

The new standard enables better image quality via VESA’s new visually lossless Display Stream Compression 1.2 standard to support High Dynamic Range video up to 8K resolution at 60 Hz or 4K resolution at 120 Hz with support for 32 channels, 1536kHz sample rates and broader audio format support.

It’s unclear how Apple might bump up the Thunderbolt Display to 5K resolution, however, because Intel’s current SkyLake chips offer support for DisplayPort 1.2, not DisplayPort 1.3 and let alone 1.4.

VESA DisplayPort 1.4 compression comparison image 002

Be that as it may, Apple is expected to release a new four-inch ‘iPhone SE’ along with a 9.7-inch edition of the iPad Pro and new watch bands at a media event later this month.

Perhaps a 4K Thunderbolt Display will get unveiled at the event as well?

Source: (Google Translate)