Apple's Thunderbolt Displays are in short supply at its stores, fueling speculation that the firm might be working on a new Retina model.
Apple hasn't produced a new Thunderbolt Display since September 2011. In fact, this monitor holds the current record for an Apple product without a refresh.
It's also been over a year and a half since the company released its 5K Retina iMac. It would stand to reason that a monitor would use the same model as the iMac itself, but obviously without the same internal components.
It does pose a problem though. DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 - the technologies that current Macs use - can't push a 5K display on their own. DisplayPort 1.3 could, but both Skylake and even Kaby Lake chips won't support the feature.
This means that Apple would need to come up with a solution. Anything from a proprietary technology to using two Thunderbolt cables is on the table. The firm could also make a smaller 4K 21.5" model, as with the smaller iMac, or stick with 4K on the 27" model, but neither of those solutions seem particularly elegant.
As John Gruber said,
A 27-inch standalone retina display will be a genuine finally. If they announce it at WWDC, the crowd will go nuts. But just how they’ll drive it is a fascinating question. Using two Thunderbolt cables would be clunky. Maybe one cable that forks into two Thunderbolt adapters at the end?
Indeed, this is something that Mac users have waited for for a long, long time.