Apple’s Thunderbolt Display replacement is still in the works

Apple’s Thunderbolt Display replacement is still in the works

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Apple's Thunderbolt display hasn't been updated since 2011.
Apple's standalone display isn't dead yet.
Photo: Apple

Apple may have discontinued its aging Thunderbolt Display, but it hasn’t given up on making external monitors altogether. Sources say the company is still hard at work on a new model that will have its own GPU built-in.

We first heard whispers about this new display at the beginning of June. One report claimed it would boast a super-sharp 5K resolution like the high-end iMac, and a built-in video card that would allow even entry-level Macs to power all those pixels.

But when Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt Display this week, rather than introducing that refresh, the future of its standalone display looked uncertain. Now BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski, citing unnamed sources, says it’s not dead yet.

“Thunderbolt Display takes dirt nap as expected,” reads his tweet. “Sources telling me next-gen display will indeed have integrated GPU.”

With that GPU, Apple can guarantee compatibility with almost any Mac — assuming it’s not too old. Even those that aren’t powerhouses — like the 12-inch Retina MacBook — will be able to connect to it and drive all 14.7 million pixels.

Sadly, we still don’t know when that next-generation display will arrive. It wasn’t unveiled during WWDC earlier this month, which is what many fans were hoping for, but there’s still a chance we’ll see it before the end of the year.