Over the last several months, we’ve learned quite a bit about Apple’s re-entry into the Pro display market. The display is said to measure 31.6-inches and feature a 6K resolution. Read on as we roundup everything we know so far about the display, and when it might be available.
Apple officially left the standalone display market in 2016, discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display and pointing users towards third-party options. The move, however, was met with disappointment from Pro users who rely on seamless integration between Apple’s various hardware products.
Subsequently, in 2017, Apple announced that it was doubling down on the Pro market with a new modular Mac Pro and a new Apple Display. That announcement was almost exactly two years ago, and now it seems we’re finally nearing the launch of Apple’s highly anticipated Pro display. Here’s what we know so far.
Apple Display Size and Resolution
According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple Display will feature a 31.6-inch display. That’s considerably larger than the 27-inch iMac – and should certainly please Pro users in many industries. Kuo says that the Apple Display will feature a 6K3K resolution.
At this point, it is unconfirmed whether the Apple Display will be 16:9 in nature or join in on the trend of ultra-wide displays. Our own Jeff Benjamin, however, has presented a very solid case for the latter.
Jeff argues that Apple’s display will feature a 6240×2880 native resolution. This is a “true” 5K footprint that has been expanded horizontally to turn the display into an ultra-wide panel. With the extra pixels, the display’s resolution is stretched into 6K, which matches exactly with Kuo’s claim that the display will be 6K3K.
Theoretically, Apple would also want its standalone Pro monitor to match the existing iMac and iMac Pro form factor and DPI. Some basic math explains how this would be possible. Essentially, the 27-inch 5K iMac uses a pixel-per-inch standard of 218. With a resolution of 6240×2880, an Apple display could hit that by being 31.59-inches – which rounds up to 31.6-inches, matching Kuo’s claims.
The end result is a 6K3K ultra-wide display with 6240×2880 resolution, measuring 31.6-inches diagonally, and with a display panel height (13.2-inches) and PPI (218) the same as the existing 5K panel in the iMac and iMac Pro. The width of such a display would measure 28.7-inches, which is 3.1-inches wider than the iMac Pro, even when including its bezels.
Thus, while Kuo has not made mention of whether the Apple Display will be ultra-wide or 16:9, the math certainly seems to favor the former. With so many third-party displays going the ultra-wide direction, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Apple also follow that trend. Furthermore, if it can do so in a way that makes the Apple Display beautifully complement the existing iMac and iMac Pro, creative users everywhere are sure to be pleased.
Ming-Chi Kuo also says that Apple’s 6K display will feature mini-LED backlight technology. What this means is that the external display will only use mini-LED for the backlight, not for true end-to-end mini-LED screens. In late 2020 or early 2021, however, Apple is expected to launch new MacBook and iPad models with true mini-LED panels.
Kuo specifically says that the Apple monitor will use a “mini-LED like backlight unit” with larger LEDs. By using mini-LED backlighting, the Apple screen will have more power efficient backlighting that allows for more accurate blacks and improved contrast. Furthermore, mini-LED backlighting should allow for the panels to be thinner, resulting in a slimmer design overall.
The performance won’t match that of OLED, such as what is found in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but Apple is said to favor mini-LED backlighting because it is not susceptible to burn in. In day-to-day use, this is likely a wise choice. A computer monitor is far more likely than a phone to show the same thing – such as a static email inbox – all day. This would greatly increase the likelihood of burn-in.
Apple Display Release and Price
The Apple Display is said to be released sometime in Q2 or Q3. This aligns well with Apple’s upcoming developer-focused WWDC, which kicks off on June 3rd. It does not seem presumptuous at all to think that Apple could announce both the 31.6-inch monitor and modular Mac Pro during its WWDC keynote.
Assuming the panel is announced at WWDC, that would be just over two years from when Apple announced its renewed focus on the Pro market.
As for price, it’s hard to know at this point what Apple might charge for this 31.6-inch 6K monitor. The Thunderbolt Display was sold for $999, but you should expect this new display to cost more than that, especially when you consider Apple has little competition in this area of the market.
Apple doubled down on the Pro market almost exactly 2 years ago, and it seems we’re finally about to see the first results of those efforts. Pro users certainly have high hopes for the new Apple Display and modular Mac Pro, and it will be interesting to see the reactions.
What do you think of the Apple Display rumors? Does it sound like something that meets your needs? How much are you willing to pay? Let us know what you think down in the comments below!