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Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display (macrumors.com) 168

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has officially told several news sites that it plans to discontinue the Thunderbolt Display, which has been available online and in Apple retail stores since it was first introduced in 2011. "We're discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users," said an Apple spokesperson. Rumors suggest that Apple will launch a new version of its Thunderbolt monitor later this year, featuring an upgraded 5K resolution and discrete GPU. The new Thunderbolt Display may even launch alongside next-generation Skylake Retina MacBook Pros, which too are rumored to be released later this year. fyngyrz writes: So, bought into the whole Thunderbolt monitor thing from Apple? Might want to collect a few right now, while you still can. It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?
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Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display

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  • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @10:32PM (#52378253)

    dumb monitors are bad, they need to be smartified so that the only way you access them is through apps. Otherwise they are losing a big chunk of data.

  • by hsmith ( 818216 )
    Because it is going to be USB-C next.
    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @11:05PM (#52378369) Homepage Journal

      Only if you mean mean Thunderbolt 3 (which happens to be based on a USB-C connector, but is not USB). Boy, will that cause consumer confusion, what with them sticking USB-C on the MacBook just months before Thunderbolt 3 was ready....

      • That has happened before, with the transition from DisplayPort to Thunderbolt.

        • Thunderbolt used a Mini DisplayPort connector on the first Macs.
  • Jeepers (Score:5, Funny)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @10:42PM (#52378285)

    For all of the hate we dish at Apple we sure do like talking about them 'round here.

  • Putting an gpu in one much less usb+e-net on an MAX pci-e x4 link is an poor idea. Also most mac's other then mac pro only have 1 TB bus. And right now the mac pro without cutting down the gpu's to x8 x8 or x16 x16 switched thought one x16 link does not have the pci-e for TB 3.0. Or they can make the mac pro have 2 cpus.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @10:52PM (#52378325)

    >> It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

    I'll make a bet right now that killing the headphone jack will be a step too far and Apple will be forced to bring it back pretty quickly.

    • >> It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

      I'll make a bet right now that killing the headphone jack will be a step too far and Apple will be forced to bring it back pretty quickly.

      Nah they'll just keep reminding you they do adapters (for a reasonable fee, of course) then once everyone's finally either bought one or gone to wireless headphones, that's when they'll bring it back.

  • Convenience. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @11:10PM (#52378389)

    I sort of wanted one at work. I have a Thunderbolt (2.0) hub, that has thunderbolt in, with thunderbolt, gigabit ethernet, usb 3.0, audio, mini display port, and hdmi out. The hope was that one cable was all I would need to plug in whenever I dock my laptop at work, which has two monitors. Turns out that the only way to get two monitors with fed from one thunderbolt cable is if one monitor takes thunderbolt directly. So while one thunderbolt cable can do one 4K monitor, it can't do two 1920 monitors. Oh well, at least it's only two cables I have to plug in.

    • by xvan ( 2935999 )
      So, besides throttled video capabilities, what was different between a thunderbolt hub, and a usb hub with equivalent usb peripherals?
      • It also had the gigabit ethernet and HDMI/displayport. No usb 3.0 on my mac so the hub helps with that too. I know USB does audio but I've rarely seen any adapters for that, so having it on the hub was handy though not necessary at work. So one cable, as opposed to usb cable plus ethernet adapter plus video cable.

    • Specifically, I believe that's the Displayport hub functionality you're needing, called something like MST. So I would believe a monitor that includes a Displayport hub and lets you plug another in would work, while not needing to be a Thunderbolt monitor. Or your Thunderbolt hub is missing an internal Displayport hub. The DP hub is rare hardware, or only recently available, or perhaps not yet as readily available as you'd wish so as to find it on cheap hardware.

      (On top of that there could be bullshit like

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      For us, the problem was the cost. The Apple monitor costs £900. The 4K monitors that we're buying cost about £200. For four times the price, we get a worse display. The hub features were not worth paying £600 for and putting up with fewer pixels.
    • I sort of wanted one at work. I have a Thunderbolt (2.0) hub, that has thunderbolt in, with thunderbolt, gigabit ethernet, usb 3.0, audio, mini display port, and hdmi out. The hope was that one cable was all I would need to plug in whenever I dock my laptop at work, which has two monitors. Turns out that the only way to get two monitors with fed from one thunderbolt cable is if one monitor takes thunderbolt directly. So while one thunderbolt cable can do one 4K monitor, it can't do two 1920 monitors. Oh well, at least it's only two cables I have to plug in.

      This was disappointing for me, as well, though I knew it before I bought my Thunderbolt dock. I'm pretty sure you could technically make it work with only one cable in the laptop if you bought another Thunderbolt dock and plugged it in to your existing Thunderbolt dock, but I didn't want to spend twice as much money as the already expensive dock cost. (Every once in a while, I'll think about replacing my dual displays with a single larger one of 27" or more, but I'm still not sure about that.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2016 @11:23PM (#52378433)

    Back in my ultimate Mac bigot days I managed to keep from getting burned by OpenDoc (by ignoring it as snake oil) and QuickDraw3D (by adopting it very gradually, thereby not losing much when it was suddenly cancelled with no replacement.) A lot of guys dove in and lost whole product lines if not companies.

    Apple custom hardware is even less dependable. Don't buy anything you can't afford to have orphaned without notice.

    Love Apple all you want, but don't trust 'em. They were never in business to help you, and now they don't even have to care.

    • Back in my ultimate Mac bigot days I managed to keep from getting burned by OpenDoc (by ignoring it as snake oil) and QuickDraw3D (by adopting it very gradually, thereby not losing much when it was suddenly cancelled with no replacement.) A lot of guys dove in and lost whole product lines if not companies.

      Damn, hold a grudge much?!?

      If you have to go back to OpenDoc and QD3D to be mad at Apple for changing directions, you'd better get out of computers entirely.

      Just think if you had been a Windows developer since the time that OpenDoc and QD3D were a thing? How many failed Windows "technologies" would you have had to "ignore" since OpenDoc was first announced in WWDC 1991?

      • If you have to go back to

        English really must be your second language right? I mean about the only posts you ever make you miss-read, miss-understand, or put words in other people's mouth.

        • If you have to go back to

          English really must be your second language right? I mean about the only posts you ever make you miss-read, miss-understand, or put words in other people's mouth.

          Don't see any misreading nor misunderstanding (by the way, speaking of poor English skills, it is "misread" and "misunderstand" not "miss-read" and "miss-understand").

          If YOU could comprehend, you would understand that I was clearly pointing out that ALL companies that publish OSes have had their share of "abandoned technologies", that his examples were from at least a decade-ago (OpenDoc was killed-off in 1997 and QD3D in 1998, and that if he looked at Windows instead of Apple, he'd see that Apple has a m

  • Fortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday June 23, 2016 @11:38PM (#52378485)
    There is an alternative. Microsoft, who has never discontinued anything, and their next failed piece of hardware will be their first.

    And before you mark me as a troll, consider this

    From the summary...... So, bought into the whole Thunderbolt monitor thing from Apple? Might want to collect a few right now, while you still can. It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

    So it looks like Slashdot has gone full troll itself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Zune.

      • Zune.

        Oh yeah -I was being sort of a smartass. All manufacturers have introduced products that for one reason or another don't work. Microsoft Zune, Windows Phone, Vista, Windows 8, and original Surface. Apple has Lisa, Newton, the hockey puck Mouse. And now the Thunderbolt monitors.

        The issue re Thunderbolt as I saw it was expense. The price of the monitors wasn't all that far from the price of the computers. For my iMac, I just bought an adapter and plumbed a regular 27 inch monitor onto it for the second moni

        • Zune.

          Oh yeah -I was being sort of a smartass. All manufacturers have introduced products that for one reason or another don't work. Microsoft Zune, Windows Phone, Vista, Windows 8, and original Surface. Apple has Lisa, Newton, the hockey puck Mouse. And now the Thunderbolt monitors.

          The issue re Thunderbolt as I saw it was expense. The price of the monitors wasn't all that far from the price of the computers. For my iMac, I just bought an adapter and plumbed a regular 27 inch monitor onto it for the second monitor. I suspect many others did as well.

          And that's the beauty of Thunderbolt. One port, many uses, depending on the needs of the individual.

          Fully realized, it makes every computer essentially a "slotted" system, like old-skool "towers". For example, that's what Apple was intending by putting SIX Thunderbolt connectors on the Mac Pro.

          It is, unfortunately, the Third Parties (and to some extent, Intel itself, with overly-strict Licensing) that haven't kept up with that idea, by making TB peripherals still somewhat rare and insanely, unnecessaril

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @12:25AM (#52378605)

    > Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

    What? The monitors did what they were supposed to do, are doing what they were supposed to do, and will keep on doing the same thing they were supposed to do. It's also entirely possible that they will work with thunderbolt 3 via an adapter.

    They also stayed on the market for 5 years, which is unheard of for a modern display: most companies like Dell discontinue their displays after a year or two.

    • They also stayed on the market for 5 years, which is unheard of for a modern display:

      It's no longer a modern display if it's been on the market for five years, and they pretty much had to keep selling it since there was no other option. Except, it's Apple, so they will screw you eventually... just not right away. They're not just taking a single display off the market, they're taking a whole connection technology off the market.

      • They're not just taking a single display off the market, they're taking a whole connection technology off the market.

        Eh? The new device will have a Thunderbolt connector with a GPU on the end of it. It'll be the newer version of Thunderbolt, but who expects technology to stand still?

        By moving the GPU to the display, it opens up the opportunity to have an iPhone control it. Don't be surprised if there's a 60GHz antenna/chip in the new display too.

        I'm not in the Apple hardware market, but there are many pe

        • Eh? The new device will have a Thunderbolt connector with a GPU on the end of it. It'll be the newer version of Thunderbolt, but who expects technology to stand still?

          Unfortunately, most of Slashdot; but fortunately, they are not representative of the vast majority of the population of this planet.

    • by bidule ( 173941 )

      No no, you don't understand. Those monitors will be bricked. "Discontinue" is just an euphemism the Apple mafia uses.

    • They also stayed on the market for 5 years, which is unheard of for a modern display:

      Sure if you cherry pick your displays. For most people who don't buy the cheapest nastiest displays on the market 5 years is certainly not unheard of.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @12:37AM (#52378627)

    If you have a Thunderbolt monitor, it's not like it's going to stop working... I don't get the snide comment about being part of a "failed experiment", it's no more a "failure" than any other monitor ever has been.

    I personally would have loved a 5K Thunderbolt, and think we may have seen one yet in a ew months (probably with the same auto-color balancing feature the newer iPad Pro 9.7" offers). But I didn't buy something that doesn't work for me, a while ago I needed a higher res display so I bought a 4K LG monitor I really like and will be happy to use until a really nice Thunderbolt monitor (or something else better) comes along.

    One thing really bugs me about the LG monitor though - it has about five USB ports on it, but it's basically the equivalent of an unpowered USB 3 hub! Seems like it wouldn't have taken much effort to supply decent power through the output ports, an iPad connected cannot even charge while in use.

    • by sremick ( 91371 )

      One thing really bugs me about the LG monitor though - it has about five USB ports on it, but it's basically the equivalent of an unpowered USB 3 hub! Seems like it wouldn't have taken much effort to supply decent power through the output ports, an iPad connected cannot even charge while in use.

      There's a big difference between making an unpowered USB hub, and making a special USB port that supports Apple's bastardized, non-standard USB wiring for charging. A lot of times even hubs have to have standard USB ports that power everything but Apple, then 1 or 2 specially-marked non-standard USB ports just for iPods and iPads.

      Plug an iPad into a standard USB port, and you get 500mA. Plug anything else into it, and you can get 1-2A.

      Blame Apple, not LG. There are standards for USB, just as there are for S

      • Since as you note " a lot of times" hubs provide special ports for Apple devices. If you are making a $1k+ monitor with enough USB ports you can probably afford to spend $2 more on parts to make them useful to everyone.

        I'm not sure how right you are though, even a cheap cigarette lighter USB adaptors I got at a gas station offers a 2A and a 1A USB port...

  • With a 27" resolution of 2560 x 1440, those pixels are as expensive as gold.
  • Thank god they did away with it. Thunderbolt 1 and USB 2: when you looked at the specs, that thing did not have any real reason to exist anymore.

    For ~$500, there is the LG 27MB85R, exactly the same dimensions and resolution except it has Thunderbolt 2.

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:33AM (#52379357) Homepage

    Why is BeauHD Openly trolling in the summary and where the fuck is the new management that claimed that they were taking slashdot back to it's roots?

    I suffered through the Dice dark ages and saw so many other old school slashdotters leave.

    I saw the new owners denounce the worst of Dice's excesses and had hope but openly trolling the way this submission did destroys what little expectation I had that this could happen.

    • by nbvb ( 32836 )

      Seriously ... And oh, how the tides have turned.

      I had the first submission that kicked off 'apple.slashdot.org' about, oh, 15 years ago now? How exciting things were then.

      None of the Apple hate. Mac OS X was just getting started, and had so much potential.

      Let's not forget how revolutionary it really was. The real UNIX for the desktop. Good stuff.

      Part of me misses the simplicity of PowerBook Titaniums and iPods with scroll wheels.

      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        There's not much that /. can do about the haters now that Dice's muckraking has pushed so many serious slashdotters out and cultivated anklebiters like the AC that replied to your post with clickbait subject title after clickbait subject title.

        The one thing that they CAN do is to stop feeding the anklebiters by filtering out clickbait article summaries and editing the summaries to eliminate inflammatory stuff like "Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?".

        I can filter out ACs and persistent f

        • The one thing that they CAN do is to stop feeding the anklebiters by filtering out clickbait article summaries and editing the summaries to eliminate inflammatory stuff like "Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?".

          Howabout just ending the "AC" system? That would, in one fell swoop, eliminate about 95% of the stupid-over-the-top hate posts, "Appy Apps" posts "Nigger" posts (which I guess are Hate posts), and completely unsubstantiated FUD.

          C'mon Slashdot; the "freedom to speak honestly" ability of the AC system is FAR outweighed by the NOISE it injects into the Comments for EVERY. SINGLE. ARTICLE.

          EVERY one.

          • by phayes ( 202222 )

            Not all ACs are the trash that you're describing and though I do agree that _they_ are trash, the others aren't. I prefer being able to filter them out normally (easily accomplished with setting a visible threshold at 1) and moderating at -1 to be able to give points to insightful posts, AC or not. Slashdot's moderation system is superior to everything else I've used which is why it's so unfortunate that Dice (and current management if they don't stop the clickbait) disgusted so many insightful and informat

      • Clickbait, and hate seem like driving forces behind not just Slashdot, but lots of "community based" websites.

        Don't even bother with most game related forums now-a-days.

        Forget "hater gonna hate" it seems like the occasional snark we all knew and loved has been transmuted into vitriol most foul, that is fed as pablum to the masses and regurgitated onto whatever topic they can find.

        Part of it certainly is that the Anonymity of the internet allows them to hate and troll with limited or no consequences. The l

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        None of the Apple hate. Mac OS X was just getting started, and had so much potential.

        Eh? There has always been Apple hate here. No wireless, less space than a Nomad? Just a couple years after OS X came out. And before OS X, Apple was shit because of cooperative multitasking and a single button mouse - which the wankers went on to complain about for another decade after the last single-button mouse was sold.

  • So, bought into the whole Thunderbolt monitor thing from Apple? Might want to collect a few right now, while you still can. It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

    Unlike headphones, I think you'll find that Thunderbolt display owners will find their displays still functioning tomorrow. In fact I would not be surprised if their display continues to do what they paid for, for many years to come.

    If I bought a product that does (and continues to do) what I bought it for, how is that a failed experiment?

  • I have a thunderbolt display @ work and they have a ton of problems.

    • its absurdly hot
    • if you plug in while suspended/hibernated the display will work but nothing else.
    • if you plug in while the pc is on, nothing works
    • by wchin ( 6284 )

      On Mac OS X, since it has hot plug Thunderbolt support, everything just works. Under Windows, most systems do not have hot plug Thunderbolt support, so a restart is needed. Some Macs do have support for Thunderbolt hot plug while running Windows.

  • > Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

    Yup, I have the Lenovo ThinkPad T540p, and its successor model is a counter-example. For those who don't know the history, Lenovo inherited the IBM ThinkPad when they bought their PC division in 2005. ThinkPads have a...distinctive...styling; they're boring black boxes whose design hasn't changed much since the 90s. They're bland, super-rugged business notebooks optimized for work. I'm an old fart (40) and use them exclusively - the hipster project

  • I thought it was a fantastic idea, and I really wanted one. I just wasn't going to pay a cool grand for it.

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