Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display, Directs Customers to Unspecified 3rd Party Displays

| Editorial

It is with a mix of sadness, contempt, and relief that I offer you the news that Apple acknowledged it has put a bullet in its 5-year old Thunderbolt Display. The company issued a statement to The Verge confirming the news, directing customers to third parties for their external display needs.

Thunderbolt Display RIP

Apple's statement:

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.

That Apple chose to announce this means the company is very unlikely to replace it with anything up to date. If that's the case, Mac users will be forced to live with the stylings of HP, Dell, and Samsung for their external display needs.

Like an animal.

That's annoying. Apple sells a best-in-class 5K display in its iMac, but appears not to care enough about its professional users to bring that same technology to an external display. It's difficult impossible to understand why, though considering the lack of attention the professional market gets from Apple in the Mac hardware space, this is really just par for the course.

That covers my sadness and contempt—the relief comes from the fact that Apple is putting this product out of its misery. That the company still sells the Thunderbolt display for $999 is an embarrassment. While pretty, this device falls far short of what you can get for a fraction of the price in terms of resolution from competitors.

If Apple didn't intend to replace the Thunderbolt Display, it should have discontinued it years ago.

Popular TMO Stories



They want us to use iMacs, or iPad Pros (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had some kind of hub concept or other either, that doesn’t help anyone right now). Just as sadly, that isn’t going to cut it for most real pros. Sierrais a means for people to develop for iOS. The past few years are the first time Apple has made me feel like a rube.


Interesting. When I first read about this, I took it to mean that Apple *will* be kicking out new (presumably iMac-matching) 5k displays, to market; which would have all the updated goodies, of course: Thunderbolt 2 (or 3?), USB Type-C, slimmer frame, etc.

Presumably they’re just allowing time for stock of current models to dwindle down. Presumably. I hope I’m right.


Have you seen this, Bryan?


Bryan, The old man once said “never try to major in your minor”. Apple has to acquire the component and sell displays with little value add. Other companies such as those you noted in the business of panels, displays, tv’s etc. have a much broader base to spread the fixed and variable costs. It doesn’t mean Apple is abandoning professionals with just the display. Do NOTHING to Mac Pro, Servers, etc. has much more to do with the total contempt which I feel as a person having relied on Apple for critical hardware. Tim Cook and the guys have really abandoned those of us who made using Apple something special. I’m converting the business slowly to other platforms. Not sad to go anymore.


Unfortunately, with Apple displays, you pay a premium for aesthetics, and not just in monetary cost - you have to give up several features, the most notable being an anti-glare panel.  Years ago, I went with NEC, and I haven’t looked back.  (Well, maybe once or twice, briefly - Apple displays sure are pretty.)  Other than the case, pro-level NEC displays are superior in every way.

I also find it strange that a company that’s supposed to be environmentally conscious wants us to use computers that require us to discard perfectly good displays every time we upgrade.  Sure, they’re recycled, but wouldn’t it be better to keep them in service?

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account