Apple’s Busy Year-End Roster Could Include a Native 4K Display
by Stephan Jukic – July 24th, 2014
Amongst computer technology makers, Apple has been oddly behind the rest of the pack when it comes to implementing 4K Display technology. While Samsung, Sony, and other create 4K display monitors for their own or compatible PC products and Toshiba and Lenovo actually go ahead and unveil laptops with built in 4K screen technology, Apple is still sticking to its proprietary Retina resolution technology on all of its products. Where 4K is available for Apple products, it comes in the form of competitors’ display monitors that are compatible with the Mac Pro computer.
And although Retina is fantastic in terms of image clarity, it’s a far cry from the pixel power of 4K UHD, which is more than twice as powerful as even Retina.
However, rumors are floating around about the Thunderbolt Display Screen and Apple’s plans for making it 4K capable at the end of the year. This is what’s being speculated on so far:
Thunderbolt is a relatively old (in home computer technology terms) screen type that’s been used by apple for its desktop machines for roughly three years already and up to today, its native display resolution has been about equivalent to 1080p HD.
However, according to rumors within some circles, by the end of the year, Apple will be coming out with a revamped Thunderbolt with one of two possible display features; either it will feature a 4K resolution of somewhere between 4096 and 3830 x 2160 pixels, or it will feature a much more powerful version Retina with a display resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels.
There are also additional rumors about the inclusion of razor thin edge design and the possibility of USB 3.0 ports.
With Apple, such upgrades are difficult to predict, since the company is rather notoriously erratic in their technology update schedules. Nonetheless, given the current trend of numerous companies such as Asus, Lenovo, LG and Seiki offering highly affordable 4K monitors for PCs and even coming out with their own 4K laptops (Lenovo in particular, along with Toshiba), it seems extremely plausible that Apple won’t allow itself to fall behind.
So far, consumers who want to use Apple desktop machines such as the Mac Pro have to settle for compatible display monitors from manufacturers such as Sharp, whose 32 inch 4K monitor was debuted as being compatible with Apple machines and had the company’s approval.
It’s important to understand that all of the above is still highly speculative and no concrete announcements on new native 4K or UHD Retina screens have actually yet been made by Apple itself. Even the Mac Pro was launched without any sort of statement as to when it would be accompanied by a 4K screen built by Apple itself.
Prices for 4K monitors in general are dropping fast, and this is making them both more affordable and thus more desirable to consumers. However, the graphics card requirements of 4K also mean that Apple might delay 4K versions of Thunderbolt displays in an effort to keep its screens compatible with their existing Macbook Air and Mac Pro computers, which lack heavy duty graphics processing power.
Story by 4k.com