Would a 4K Display for Mac Pro Spill Apple's UHDTV Beans?

We know that Apple's new Mac Pro can drive three 4K displays. We also know that Apple has a keen interest in next generation television, and that may be reflected in an Ultra High Definition 4K TV set, not just a follow-on to the current Apple TV. So how do the two relate, if at all? Let's explore the situation.


First, one has to size up whether Apple would include the guts of a next generation TV system in any 4K display they might produce for the new Mac Pro. I doubt they would because 1) it would drive the price up and 2) the activities on a 4K display connected to a Mac Pro are very different than family TV viewing.

So delivering a naked, so to speak, 4K display along with the new Mac Pro makes sense. It also puts a lot of money in Apple's pocket, and Apple has the opportunity to match the design and interface to the Mac Pro.

Even so, there are those who think that Apple isn't going to offer a branded 4K display for the Mac Pro because it might, somehow, give away Apple's plans for it's next generation family UHDTV. I doubt it, but it's something to consider.

Another factor is that Apple may think that 4K TVs and displays, when combined with its own special sauce, would be just too expensive right now, and they're going to let the market naturally drive the price down. The limited quantities of displays Apple might sell with the new Mac Pro won't do that, but the TV industry's rush into 4K UHDTV sets for the living room would.

That could mean that Apple is so confident that it has something very cool that letting the TV industry flood the market with progressively cheaper dumb (and smart) 4K TV's won't hurt its future prospects. Surveys have already shown that the average customer isn't in the mood for a smart TV anyway. It's too scary, too complicated and too expensive.

Apple probably has big plans to fix that customer temperament and fix it good.

The cost curve is a delicate balancing act for Apple. Timing is everything. Everyone wants to see the fruits of Apple's next generation TV thinking for the family right away, but Apple's has to seize the right moment in the pricing curve.

As for the Mac Pro, if Apple does offer a matching 4K computer display  when the Mac Pro ships, I don't think there's anything special to read into that.