Apple has yet to announce a successor to its three-year-old Thunderbolt Display, despite the fact that the company is releasing a new Mac Pro by the end of the year with the ability to power up to three 4K displays at once.
A Redditor did some digging and found that a display supplier overseas with ties to Apple is currently making 4K desktop-sized panels that are designed for Thunderbolt and could very easily be put in future Apple monitors.
Taiwanese manufacturer AU Optronics (AUO) has started making 27-inch and 32-inch panels at 3840×2160 4K resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. “These are the first 4k (well QFHD/UHD) panels manufactured using DisplayPort signaling, which all Apple LCD displays use and is fully compatible with Thunderbolt without any additional signal processing,” according to the unnamed Redditor. AUO has made a variation of both screen sizes with the wide-gamut Adobe RGB color space, which is “likely the variation to be used by Apple.”
AUO made displays for the first iPad mini, but Apple ended the contract when second-gen iPad mini manufacturing started because AUO couldn’t meet demand in time.
While there have been no concrete reports about Apple’s plans for the Thunderbolt Display, it makes sense to at least include Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, and a better iSight camera. The current Thunderbolt Display is also thicker than the latest iMac, so a thinner profile is hopefully a given as well.
Apple has demonstrated that it still cares about professionals with the new Mac Pro, and only time will tell if a new display is part of the equation. With the holidays quickly approaching, the Mac Pro should be available in the coming weeks. Who wants a Thunderbolt 2 Display for Christmas too?