Apple Trying to One-up 4K With a New 5K Retina Monitor for iMac

by on September 12, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 12th, 2014

This rumor might be coming true sooner than some of us expect. According to reports dissimulated in July and reported right here at, Apple was rumored to be headed for the production and release of a new 4K iMac with a classical Ultra HD screen resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which was supposedly to be released by the end of this year.

Now however, the latest information has changed the picture (literally) and it seems that Apple’s big secret for the new year will actually be a 5K iMac Retina screen. 5K means a total of 5120 x 2880 pixels, which amounts to a total pixel count of whopping 14.75 million, or 219 pixels per inch (ppi)! That’s just under twice as many as a typical 4K screen with its 8.3 million pixels in total.

Of course, like many tech rumors, this one is still mostly unconfirmed and though it was released by a seemingly reliable tech business research source in the form of Taiwanese LCD market research firm WitsView, Apple itself has made no comments that could reinforce or deny the rumor.

According to Witsview’s report, “That product [the Apple 5k Retina screen] is expected to spur a new wave of demand for ultra high-resolution monitors,”

Currently, the highest resolution found in any native screen for Apple desktops or laptops is the Apple Thunderbolt display, which sports a 2K resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.

In fact, given this low resolution count, Apple –the tech world’s supposed cutting edge innovator in consumer electronics technology—is actually lagging well behind many rivals such as Toshiba and even Dell when it comes to improving the pixels counts of its display screens to even match 4K levels.

Thus, the possibility of the company going ahead and suddenly releasing a new 5K Retina screen for its flagship desktop computer is definitely looking plausible.

There are a number of clues which indicate the possibility of a 5K Retina iMac. Aside from such a display resolution being the next logical step, there is the fact that the new “Yosemite” OS X that’s soon coming out seems to be geared towards a new and much more powerful display technology.

Furthermore, it is an interesting coincidence that Dell Computer has just recently released its own 27 inch 5K PC display monitor. Can Apple really let its desktop machines’ display technology be beaten out in visual quality by a company like Dell?

On the other hand, according to some sources, the more likely screen resolution for a new Apple iMac screen is a more reduced “Cinema grade” 4K standard of 4096 x 2160 pixels, which actually fits with the technology actually in Apple monitors. The DisplayPort 1.2 standard used in Thunderbolt 2, for example, wouldn’t even support higher than Cinema grade 4K resolution.

displayport 1.2 supports only up to 4k resolution

The Displayport 1.2 found in Apples Thunderbolt 2 cannot yet support 5k resolution

Either way, the researchers at Witsview claim that the Retina 5K display will be unveiled to the world by the end of 2014. Thus, in just a few months, we’ll know if they were speaking from sources of some substance.

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