Apple exits external display biz, worked closely with LG to create external displays for its new MacBook Pros

“The shedding of various other ports in favor of ThunderBolt 3 ubiquity will no doubt be one of the biggest pain points for many when it comes to upgrading to the new MacBooks,” Brian Heater reports for TechCrunch. “Though the new ports do have benefits. Take the fact that the 15-inch version is capable of powering up to four 4K displays simultaneously.”

“The company was happy to show off that functionality on stage yesterday, but interestingly enough, the company enlisted another hardware maker to help out, rather than going it alone,” Heater reports. “Apple says it’s been working closely with LG to create a pair of monitors designed with the new MacBooks in mind.”

Heater reports, “LG’s 27-inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x 2880) and 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K (4096 x 2304) displays will be stepping to fill in the void left by Apple’s proprietary Thunderbolt screens.”

Read more in the full article here.

Jeff Benjamin reports for 9to5Mac, “Apple is reportedly out of the standalone display business for good, according to The Verge’s Nilay Patel.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: ThunderBolt 3 is one port to rule them all. Welcome to the future.

LG Electronics’ press release, verbatim:


LG Electronics (LG) is introducing two new displays designed specifically to integrate seamlessly with the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The new UltraFine™ 27-inch 5K display and its 21.5-inch 4K display from LG are ideal for creating an expanded work space in the home or office and the perfect complement for MacBook and MacBook Pro users who desire expansive, high-quality resolution at all times.

27-Inch UltraFine 5K Monitor with Thunderbolt 3

Designed and optimized for the new MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 running macOS 10.12 and later, the stunning 27-inch UltraFine 5K display appeals to a range of creatives, including video and photography professionals. With a breathtaking resolution of 5120 x 2880 and 218 pixels per inch (ppi), the color reproduction capabilities of the UltraFine 5K display allow it to cover 99 percent of the P3 color space. What’s more, the monitor’s advanced IPS display technology minimizes color shift and color loss from any viewing angle, ensuring that users see the original content as it was meant to be seen.

As the world’s first 5K display with Thunderbolt 3, LG’s UltraFine 5K display has the capability to receive and transfer 5K video, audio and data from the new MacBook Pro while simultaneously charging it through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. The UltraFine 5K display features three downstream USB Type-C ports for additional connectivity and power with compatible accessories. Seamless macOS integration enables brightness and volume control like built-in display without the need for physical buttons on the display.

The front-facing camera and microphone works with FaceTime and high fidelity integrated speakers enhanced by LG’s Rich Bass feature completes the multimedia experience while a height and tilt-adjustable stand maximizes user comfort.

21.5-Inch UltraFine 4K Monitor

With a density of 219ppi that gives this display the ability to present sharp 4K resolution (4096 x 2304) image quality, the UltraFine 4K display is the perfect companion for the MacBook while also supporting the new MacBook Pro. The 21.5-inch model covers 99 percent of the P3 spectrum, boasting vibrant brightness levels and an IPS panel capable of providing more uniform color expression. Featuring USB Type-C connectivity for video, data and power over a single cable and macOS integration for display control, the LG UltraFine 4K display offers three downstream USB Type-C slots, a high-quality Rich Bass Speaker and an adjustable stand for enhanced ergonomics.

“We are excited to be introducing two highly advanced displays capable of meeting the needs of even the most demanding Mac users,” said Brian Kwon, president of LG Home Entertainment Company “Not only do these UltraFine displays offer stunning picture quality, they will usher in a new age of connectivity, helping creative users achieve optimal efficiency in their homes, studios or offices.”

The LG 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K display will be available starting in November while the LG 27-inch UltraFine 5K model will be available in early December starting in the United States. Please visit for more information on LG UltraFine displays and details on pre-ordering the 21.5-inch 4K monitor.

Source: LG Electronics


    1. You’ve heard of global warming, but probably not “global dimming”.

      All LG televisions and monitors have this issue (they contantly adjust to bright or dim on the fly), regardless of your settings, sometimes even blacking your screen out entirely when it dims dark and the movie you’re watching is displaying a dark scene.

      LG has been aware of this issue for years and many feel they don’t have a clue as how to stop it… DON’T EVER BUY AN LG PANEL.

      Unless this sounds like an attractive feature.

      1. Bullshit, I’ve had an LG 47″ LCD/LED TV for six years and it’s never had any of those issues, and other LG owners I know haven’t either. You must be another Samsung flunky.

  1. I have a hard time believing Apple will switch iPhone to OLED next year and this move only validates that opinion. They could have gone with an OLED display from several other manufacturers but didn’t. While OLED wins in terms of contrast ratios, my guess is in-plane switched LCDs are still the best at color reproduction and coming close to (LG’s 99%) or meeting (iPad Pro 9.7, iPhone 7) modern wide color specifications.

    1. Apple has waited until OLED will be bright enough, as well as would not consume as much in white backgrounds mode. By this time, OLED is finally meets the requirements.

      Since few years ago Apple has its own OLED design team, so Apple Watch OLED is Apple-designed and patented; LG Display is only contractor manufacturer.

  2. I can not understand some decisions that Apple makes.

    If the criteria is how much business a certain segment is, then Apple should cancel not only Thunderbolt Display, but also Final Cut Pro and many more “obscure” Apple products.

    And the criteria is different, then I do not understand why Apple stopped making displays, as well as, for example, XServe.

    1. Some, I suspect. “Lots”? Time will tell. I suspect your personal opinion is based on a relatively small sample size.

      I’m considering replacing my 5 year old desktop Mac with the 15″ MacBook Pro and the 27″ LG display. External storage, even SSDs, are getting relatively inexpensive.

  3. I’ve never liked using an open laptop computer with a large monitor behind it. The laptop cuts off half the monitor; and if you position the large external monitor as a SECOND monitor, the size difference is virtually unworkable.

    If we wanted external monitors, give us a modern, full-powered Mac Mini to plug into it. Not a $2,500 laptop whose gorgeous retina screen is a big part of the appeal!

  4. I’m a bit surprised that apple can’t/did’t make their own matching USB-C monitor companion to the MBPro. Especially it would have been so sweet to have ethernet, USB 2 and maybe even firewire outs. The LG looks nice but the extra legacy ports would have been a nice bonus, as most of us have a lot of legacy devices.

    1. This continues to show that Apple has changed. Sorry Tim, your words are hollow to me. You say you live the Mac and then produce a laptop that can only handle 16GB of memory because you did make it thick enough to handle a battery that could handle more memory. Then we have the iMac and the poor Mac Pro – they languish for years without a real update and now your working on it because loyal Mac Users are starting to look elsewhere to get the graphic power we need. Apple continues to get bigger but produces less. And to finish it off, ATV TV app will not be able to call up all of my own movies in my iTunes account, not to mention Netflix. What is happening here?

      1. In case you didn’t know, Dell released the first ultra hd 5k display.

        I use a Dell and it’s been great. Unlike Apple, Dell offers a full range and that definitely goes higher end than Apple. So I’m not surprised that Apple couldn’t compete in displays. Apple got greedy.

  5. I know I will get the heat for this but..
    After 10 Billions in R&D and almost 2 years, this is what apple came out? a touch bar and exiting the external display business?
    Is the iPhone getting all of those 10 bilions?

      1. Tim Cook is destroying Apple.

        Apple Maps
        iPhone 5 and 5s refusal to go big on displays giving Samsung a 2 year advantage
        Ignoring SIRI and wasting 5 year advantage and giving to Google AMD Amazon
        Ignoring the Mac Pro customer. They now own door stops. Very expensive door stops. Thanks Tim
        Ignoring the MacPro line for years. Only to replace with an Emoji Strip. 4 years of R&D
        Ignoring the Apple TV. Only to come out with a NON 4K version 2x+ google and Amazon offerings
        No streaming service. Once again Apple first to allow rent and watch movie. Years before Netflix
        4 years late on music streaming subpar product at best
        Hints at Skinny bundle for years. Failure
        Cloud services- 4 years behind Google. Prices ridiculous. Subpar
        Watch- compromised product. Watch 2 still not a stand alone
        HomeKit. Disaster Tim Cook refuses to make best of breed products to show industry how to do it right
        Apple trades at the cheapest discount to market on 20 years.
        No branded displays. Pathetic
        Future of TV is apps. What a joke

        He needs to go now

        1. Jack, I completely agree with all your points. I don’t want to just all sit here and complain to each other. I need your help to make this go viral in the Mac faithful. If we get enough votes, it might make some traction. Tim needs to be removed as a CEO. I am a shareholder and am not happy with most of his decisions. Please read, sign it and pass it on –

        2. And still no hi-res audio
          The ATV not being able to handle 4K is just astonishing. I’m contemplating replacing my ATV 3’s with those Amazon boxes as they handle 4K and AirPlay. What’s the point in shooting 4K video on my iPhone, having a 4K TV if I can’t use it.

          Apple need to get back into the innovating game, keep up with their product line and start listening to their customers. I know Steve thought the general public was wrong and didn’t know what they really wanted, and he was usually correct but Tim is frigging clueless.

          I have never been so disappointed with an Apple product range as I am now. I’m so underwhelmed that I feel let down.

          Where’s the Apple magic gone?

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