Apple Discontinues Overpriced Thunderbolt Display, Directs Users To Third-Party Alternatives

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In what will likely be a devastating blow to Thunderbolt Display stalwarts, Apple has announced that it is discontinuing the $999 peripheral aimed at Macs and MacBooks. The display has largely been unchanged since its introduction back in 2011. Since that time, the Thunderbolt Display has been overshadowed by dozens of displays from competing manufacturers that are both cheaper and offer better screen resolutions.

In a statement released yesterday, an Apple spokesman explained, “We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. 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.”

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We’re simply left to speculate as to whether this means that Apple is completely done with external monitors or if it plans to release a 4K or 5K upgrade sometime in the future. However, the fact that Apple is actually encouraging its customers to seek out third-party options doesn’t bode well for a Thunderbolt Display successor.

The 27-inch Thunderbolt Display features a lowly (by today’s standards) 2560x1440 screen resolution. Apple’s 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 4K (4096x2304) IPS display, while the larger 27-inch iMac is equipped with a 5K (5120x2880) IPS display. Many had hoped that this technology would filter down to upgraded Thunderbolt Displays, but alas, it appears that ship has sailed.

While the Thunderbolt Display definitely had its fans, the lack of updates over the past five years, the glossy screen covering, and lack of height/swivel has made it a second-tier offering for quite some time.