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It’s been nearly five years now since Apple introduced its standalone, 27-inch Thunderbolt display — which debuted back in July, 2011. However, suffice to say, display technology has evolved quite a bit since then. For instance, just consider the Cupertino-company’s most recent, eye-popping, 27-inch Retina 5K iMac — which features a native resolution that clocks in at a whopping 5,120 x 2,800.
And while rumors of this gorgeous, pixel-dense display someday making its foray on Apple’s standalone Thunderbolt display have been swirling ever since the 5K iMac’s launch, Apple has yet to make that much-anticipated move a reality.
Until now, that is — according to a new rumor, which alleges the Silicon Valley tech-giant is currently in the process of preparing a fully-fledged, 27-inch Thunderbolt display.
On Wednesday morning, 9to5Mac was first to report that, according to unnamed, “reliable” sources, Apple is indeed at work on developing and bringing the display to market. What’s most interesting, however, is that the display will reportedly feature its very own, embedded graphics chip.
Doing this has been made possible in recent years, thanks to the Cupertino-company’s adoption of Thunderbolt technology. Of course, for what it’s worth, the yet-to-be-announced 5K display would most likely HAVE to feature its own graphics card — given that the raw power needed to fully achieve a full 5K resolution is absent from most of Apple’s current lineup.
Such a move would effectively make even the most portable of Apple’s current computers — like the new 12-inch MacBook, for instance, which features an Intel Core M processor coupled with Intel’s Iris HD 515 graphics chip — capable of pushing all those extra pixels to their limit. That’s not to say there’s anything bad about Intel’s HD graphics chips, but let’s just compare those chips to the current Retina 5K iMac’s 2GB AMD Radeon M8/M9 graphics power… The disparity is truly night and day.
While it’s highly unlikely that Apple will release any new hardware at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this month where the Silicon Valley tech-giant is expected to focus on the future of iOS and OS X. However, there have been plenty of rumors circulating that the company will possibly announce the new 27-inch, 5K powerhouse at WWDC — with an official release to follow later this year.
Apple has done this type of pre-release announcement at WWDC several times before — most recently, when it announced the most up-to-date, cylindrical Mac Pro at the annual event back in 2013 (which launched several months later that same year).
Although, in a telltale sign that an upgrade to the cinematic Thunderbolt display might indeed be looming just over the imminent horizon, Apple’s supply of current Thunderbolt displays has dwindled down substantially in the last few months. But, of course, I suppose we’ll just have wait a few days to see what’s in store, right?
Would you purchase one of Apple’s Retina 5K Thunderbolt displays? Let us know in the comments below.