Apple Eyes 4K Desktop Displays With Next Generation Thunderbolt
April 9, 2013 4:48 PM
comment(s) - last by
4K could hit iMacs, Cinema Displays as early as 2014; could trickle down to MacBook Pros in 2015
With Google Inc.'s (
new "Pixel" Chromebooks
beating Apple, Inc.'s (
) premium laptops in the pixels-per-inch (ppi) arms race, Apple is reportedly pondering releasing 4K Thunderbolt 2 displays for sometime in 2014. 4K (typically referring to 3840x2160 pixel displays) was a
hot item at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show
. While many argue it's an exercise in impracticality, others salivate at the super-sharp televisions, which are starting to
trickle out onto the market
I. Apple Creeps Towards 4K With New Intel Thunderbolt Release
Intel Corp. (
) recently showed off a demo called "Thunderbolt Technology Update", which is basically a second-generation
. The next generation Thunderbolt is capable of piping "4K video file transfer and display simultaneously."
Marco Armanet, co-founder of Tumblr and founder of Instapaper, writes in
This could enable the first generation of desktop Retina displays: it wouldn’t surprise me if the first standalone Retina display was a 23” panel with exactly 4K resolution (3840?×?2160), run logically as 1920?×?1080 (1080p) at 2X, and driven by upgraded Thunderbolt ports in the next generation of MacBook Pros and Mac Pros.
Mr. Armanet is an avid iOS developer and Apple analyst.
Apple has also long been
rumored to be developing a "smart" LCD TV
. If such a product is released in the next couple years, a 4K panel is a likely inclusion.
II. Could 4K MacBook Pros Also be on the Horizon?
If Apple's 4K monitors follow a similar release trajectory to its 2.5K monitors, it could see the tech trickle-down to a premium variant of its MacBook Pro laptops sometime around 2015. The current ~2.5K MacBook Pro Retina units are rough 220 ppi; a 4K unit would be around 350 ppi.
The prospect of a 350 ppi MacBook Pro would be impressive, but not out of the ballpark. Currently, the
Galaxy S IV
by Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) packs a 440 ppi, 1080p, 5-inch display. Scaling up super-dense displays is difficult, but Apple and Google have shown that it can be done.
Apple currently offers "Retina Display" MacBook Pro laptops, priced at around $200-400 USD above the standard models. In addition to being thinner/lighter, the Retina models pack the titular monitor, which is
2880xx1800 pixels in the 15-inch model
2560x1600 pixels in the 13-inch model
The company also retails a $999 USD Thunderbolt Display for use with its laptops and desktops. That display packs a "2560-by-1440 LED-backlit display, a FaceTime HD camera, high-quality audio, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining
additional high-performance devices
The monitor is basically the
same as the 27-inch iMac
, sans the motherboard and processor chips.
Apple has drawn flack over its
$50 USD sticker for Thunderbolt cables
, however some loyal fans say the performance of the high-speed technology is worth the cost.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/10/2013 12:14:00 PM
The throttling won't be the problem. Having the raw sustainable connection will be the problem.
Aren't Netflix high-def streams already 9 mbps or so? Even with new compression algorithms, I don't think a 24 mbps stream would be unreasonable for 4K quality. Probably as much as 30 mbps.
Only a handful of providers in America can do that.
I'm using AT&T U-Verse and the best they can offer in my area is 18 mbps down / 2 mbps up.
4/10/2013 1:57:23 PM
You are right, dual layer blu ray doesn't even hold enough data to support 4k. Delivering 4k content to millions of people at the same time over thousands of miles of gear will not be easy to do.
There are only a few really expensive routers even on the market that support that kind of traffic.
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Sony 4K TVs Priced from $4,999, Pre-orders Start Apri 21
April 8, 2013, 9:17 AM
Galaxy S IV Smartphone Launches in NYC
March 14, 2013, 7:15 PM
Touch-Screen "Pixel" Chromebook Takes Aim at Retina MacBook Pros
February 21, 2013, 3:00 PM
CES 2013: Sharp Demoes Double-UHD (8K) Set, Two 4K Sets, 21 New Aquos 3D Smart TVs
January 7, 2013, 1:30 PM
Quick Note: Apple Announces 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display
October 23, 2012, 1:22 PM
Apple Offers Refurbished 5K Retina iMacs for $2,119 Online
January 16, 2015, 12:37 PM
SanDisk Unveils Pricey iXpand USB 2.0/Lightning Drive to Expand iPhone, iPad Storage
November 13, 2014, 2:29 PM
HP's 15.6" Omen Gaming Laptop is Incredibly Thin, Powerful
November 4, 2014, 10:34 AM
Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Product Portfolio, Performance in Letter to Employees
October 21, 2014, 8:05 AM
Lenovo Once Again The Top Global PC Maker, Apple Takes 50% of PC Profits
October 9, 2014, 7:46 AM
It’s Official: HP to Split Into Two Business Units
October 6, 2014, 8:14 AM
Most Popular Articles
Ancient Aliens? 11.2 Billion Year Old Solar System Discovered
January 29, 2015, 12:09 PM
Google Fixes Homophobic "Bug" in its Translator
January 27, 2015, 2:31 PM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
Samsung Stutters; Profits Fall 36%, Loses Global Smartphone Sales Lead to Apple
January 30, 2015, 12:40 PM
Microsoft to Close Nokia Store, May Lose Over a Hundred Thousand Apps
January 26, 2015, 11:15 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information