UltraUgly: Apple pulls LG UltraFine 5K Display from stores

“Last month 9to5Mac published the first report highlighting LG UltraFine 5K Display performance problems when using the Apple-recommended monitor with Macs near Wi-Fi routers,” Zac Hall reports for 9to5Mac. “Now we’ve learned that Apple Stores have stopped carrying the LG UltraFine 5K Display in retail locations for now.”

“UltraFine 5K is Apple’s current solution for Apple Thunderbolt Display customers looking for external Retina resolution monitors for Macs after Apple discontinued its own external display,” Hall reports. “9to5Mac discovered the performance problems with LG’s UltraFine 5K monitor when using the display near Wi-Fi routers. LG later confirmed that poor shielding caused interference that future builds of the display would resolve. Existing LG UltraFine 5K Displays will require retrofitting with additional shielding to resolve the issues.”

Hall reports, “An Apple Store customer support representative confirmed that Apple pulled the existing 5K monitor stock from Apple Stores at LG’s request while new hardware is being manufactured.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all, this was an excellent job by 9to5Mac of recognizing and reporting on this issue.

Secondly, as we wrote early last month:

“Apple ceding the display business damages the Apple brand. Apple does not lead in an essential personal computing component and other companies logos are destined to be in Mac users’ faces all day long. Not smart. Cook & Co. should reconsider their decision and make and sell Apple-branded displays. Direct profits aren’t the issue, ancillary profits are; smart executives like Cook should be able to recognize the power of perception.”

Not making Apple-branded, Apple-designed displays is an example of Compaq thinking, Tim.

LG fixes UltraFine 27-inch 5K display’s WiFi interference problems; new units unaffected – February 3, 2017
UltraUgly: Apple’s recommended LG UltraFine 5K display can become unusable when near a router – January 30, 2017
Apple censoring reviews of LG UltraFine 5K display due to poor ratings? – January 25, 2017
A real, honest-to-Jobs Apple display with built-in eGPU could be a smart move – January 19, 2017


  1. I absolutely can not understand why Apple randomly withdrawing from various businesses (the argument that they are not core businesses and not profitable enough does not work since Apple keeps the presence in other non-core, not-profitable-enough businesses just fine).

    1. More than likely, there’s no one in the company that’s excited about working on routers OR their router people went to work on more innovative hardware and they were unable to backfill.

      In some companies if you want to hire people for a project, you’ve got to define where the money to pay those people is going to come from. If the profits you propose won’t support the people, you can’t hire the people.

    1. LG manufactured Apple’s Cinema Displays (ACD). We know that Apple did not manufacture the controller boards.

      Interesting that so many dis LG now.
      Unlike those that dissed the ACD’s-because they were over-priced and one of the best monitors ever made at the time.

  2. “Whoops. Pipeline product bust. Yes, third party recommended products in our stores do count. We’re going to do better- soon. Meanwhile, wait for our announcement for a third party router.”


  3. Good… now lets hope they will take another cool step…. reassess their Stupid Decision to axe displays …and release their own Apple design themed displays.
    Even if it is at a breakeven or even a slight loss …….. consider it a marketing effort and expense Apple. Montors are a Huge part brands Visibility .. Huge..
    Just remember those conferences… lecture halls …etc… with reporters and students and all shining their Apple logos on the back of their laptops all over the place….. …… that has a HUGE marketing impact ! (So do lines at product release )

    Plus …
    If i am on the Apple platform… one of the reasons is the cool esthetics ( remember : merger of liberal arts and tech)…… and by the same token i want my whole work station/ desk to look sleek and cool… not a mish mash of cluttered mess.
    My desk is a representitive of me, my approach to work and my work environment. …. and if im using Apple… a representation of Apple.
    And Apple seems to have completely forgotton about that. …..with the introduction of dongle gate and transfer of clutter from their devices to my desk’s top …..
    Apple products dont exist in a vacume…

    So Apple lets see if you care about the whole picture… not just your products in a vacume and not just short sighted dollars and cents.

  4. I have have no problem with Apple “ceding” the display business to a 3rd party, just like they “ceded” laser printers and digital cameras and Pippin gameboys.

    But, fer cryin’ out loud, don’t publicly recommend a 3rd party display that is a piece of junk!

    And yes, Apple Displays were always a nice advertisement in PC-dominated offices.

    1. Apple doesn’t focus
      On their on products anymore proven by all the issues they have today with software services hardware etc. why would you expect them to focus on LG? It’s a damn shame.

  5. I have this monitor I am looking at it as I type this. I love the look but it sucks. It only wakes from sleep about the 1/2 time. It doesn’t have a power button so I have to unplug it from my MacPro and replug to get it to wake up, which removes all my disks. I’ve been hoping for a patch that will fix it but I’m really starting to hate it.

    1. This is terrible.

      If your experiences are prevalent across lots of users, this shows that Apple couldn’t give a damn about the user experience.

      This doesn’t sound like a long term product, it sounds like a stop gap, until they get around to making a proper Apple branded monitor, or more likely exiting the desktop market entirely.

      Apple gear is supposed to be for users that want quality and it should just work, and who don’t mind paying extra to get that.

      This product fails on every level and is a total insult, to not only pro users, but all users who defend Apple.

    1. And replace him with…. someone Steve Jobs _didn’t_ hand pick? As bad as Tim is, there are hundreds if not thousands that could do much much worse.

      Maybe when Donald Trump steps down from being president in 8 years.

        1. As I see it, the problem with Tim Cook’s leadership is his misplaced sense of purpose. What I mean by that is just this: it’s well-known that a dying Steve Jobs anointed Cook the future CEO and encouraged him to be himself, rather than ask “What would Steve Jobs do?”

          Dying, Steve Jobs faced epiphany. His life flashed before him. He realised his transgressions, came to grips with his aggressive and self-centred nature, and finally issued an acknowledgment of regret for his bad-boy ways: by formally releasing Tim Cook from servitude to Steve’s dictatorial operational and design constraints.

          Tim Cook is brilliant and talented in his own way. He never should have weakened and embraced Steve’s advice to him, but he did. To this day, he is still trying to be himself instead of Steve, and failing to win hearts and minds.

          Steve should have kept his advice to himself; if only he had, we might be seeing more Steve Jobs-like behaviour from Tim, who proved he could do exactly that when Steve was still alive, on the BOD, and Tim was acting CEO.

          END /brilliant-analysis/

        2. You mean, “Whimpy whiney loser that was FIRED for not manning up accepting his part in the broken glory that was Apple Maps” Scott Forstall?

          What’s he doing now, something in software? Oh no, he’s that most MANLY of pursuits, a Broadway Producer. Oh wait, and a mere advisor for Snapchat. He was so great at software no one wants him to do software anymore 🙂

          No thanks, would rather wait 8 years for DT.

      1. A sale borne of necessity, I just made about $153,000 selling 1,250 shares today. While there is certainly room for improvement, I’m confident Mr. Cook has it under control.

  6. Upside is the LG is responsible and will fix it. Just like they did the previously Cinema displays that THEY MANUFACTURE for Apple.

    And to put it into perspective, I would suggest malfunctioning monitors is not as bad as the nearly 2,000 cars, or worse, the thousand plus medical device RECALLs just in the US last year.

  7. sometimes it’s baffling:

    they are making the Campus to ‘iPhone’ standards and worried about gaps in doors to tiny fractions of an inch (so much so that architects complain that the tolerances would make the doors stick when they expand to temperature etc changes) and they specially mill paper for their Coffee Table Apple book…

    and yet they got stuff like the LG Monitor which will be on many customers desks and the Apple TV Remote….

    (I won’t show that ‘infamous’ pix of Jony Ive’s studio late 2015 — as I’ll get flamed — showing his designers using ‘Cheese Grater’ Mac Pros, last model made in 2010 . They are going to have a billions costing ‘iPhone’ Campus where staff use Cheese Grater Mac Pros — as the not updated Cylinders can’t have upgraded GPUs like the cheesers — and LG Monitors . Weird as their business are COMPUTERS and ELECTRONICS not buildings… the Campus was supposed to make a statement but with LG monitors on the tables and 7 year old Macs under what statement is that?)

    1. Exactly right.

      I suppose if they ate their own dog food, then they would replace all those MacPros with little iPadPros with tiny screen and Apple Pencils, because Uncle Tim says that we can all do that now.

  8. There is nothing more classy in an office than an iMac paired with an additional Thunderbolt display. We have a 5 person office and everyone has that set up. It looks clean and classy, and we have spent $500 in 5 years on IT support. I worry that those victories may be coming to an end.

    Over the past few years I have been bummed thatApple has not updated the Thunderbolt to the same sleek form factor as the iMacs, and was kind of surprised that the Thunderbolt display requires a stand to match the height of the iMac…..that oversight didn’t seem very “Apple” like. Given what sticklers Apple seems to be on those details I was expecting a cool update to the Thunderbolt…..

    I find it hard to believe that this could be a bad market for them given what they charged (high margin) and the fact that (as the article states) it only puts Apple logos in the users’ faces. At the very least it seems that they could rebrand an existing high end monitor and house it in an appropriate frame.

    I worry that the idea of tightly integrating their products so things “just work” is slowly dying (eliminating the wireless router, etc). I realize that it is hard to argue with the financial results, but I fear that the erosion of the “it just works” philosophy will eventually hit a critical mass and Apple will become more of a (low margin) commodity than a “high margin” way of life.

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