Apple hasn’t made a high-quality, affordable external display since 2016 when they retired the final version of the Thunderbolt display. The company has a long history of offering the best monitors in the mass market for laptops and desktops, dating back to the late 1990s or early days of Studio Display. Apple has made a lot of strange decisions over the past decade and this certainly falls into that category. Now that the company has begun restarting the Mac and meeting the needs of crying customers, it’s time they stepped up and built the screen we really need.
Apple’s latest external display is the Pro Display XDRBut it is not for most of us and it is certainly not a mass market product. There is no obvious choice for Mac regulars or even power users who don’t need an advanced Hollywood studio reference screen. And LG’s ultra-thin displays that Apple likes to promote feel cheap and sticky – it’s a sham that they’re acceptable to Apple.
Rumors of a new screen
Rumors have started to emerge about a new, more affordable Apple display that could arrive this year. This morning Mark Gurman in Bloomberg reported that, in fact, the company plans to launch a display in 2022 that is half the price of the Pro Display XDR. But the Pro Display XDR costs $ 6,000- $ 7,000, which leaves this rumored display at around $ 3,500 still. This product is not what most of us are looking for. It hasn’t come out yet, and most of the customers in the market for an Apple display have lost the price.
I’m afraid Apple is overthinking its external display strategy. Not all Apple customers are making multi-million dollar movies or editing professional photos. I know we’ve all been talking about this for years, but the answer to this problem is to look each other directly in the face.
Remove the iMac
Apple launched the new 24-inch iMac in April 2021 and it has proven to be a huge success for the company. It revived an aging product line that desperately needed attention. It includes a beautiful 24-inch 4.5K Retina display that has spectacular color reproduction and viewing angles. It also comes in a beautiful ultra-slim package. It is neither too big nor too small. Arguably the perfect size.
Apple should take the same screen that’s on the 24-inch iMac, remove the computer and the chin, and ship it as a screen. The slim bezels make them a great candidate for joining two. There will be very little space between them for the cursor to cross. Like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, they could offer the screen in both silver and space gray. The silver model could have the same light gray bezel as the iMac, while the space gray could adopt a matching black bezel. You can choose the correct color based on your workspace or even to match your machine.
The iMac starts at just $ 1,299. That base model comes with a Magic Keyboard ($ 99) and a Magic Mouse ($ 79). Right from the start, you can remove $ 180 from the price. Apple displays do not need to come bundled with other accessories. Then remove the actual computer. I can’t really say how much the computer inside the iMac would cost, but the display itself is likely a more expensive component than anything on the motherboard. Apple could probably charge less, but to maintain a healthy margin, they could sell their screen for just $ 999. In fact, that’s the price of the last consumer screen that was recalled in 2016.
That price tag is the sweet spot, and it means more people could have an Apple-designed display on their desk. There are so many people and organizations that have Thunderbolt displays in their later stages, this is not a product category that the company should ignore. If Apple made a $ 999 display like this, they would start popping up everywhere.
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A new external Apple display? | Gadgets