The 'now you see it, now you don't' 4K Sharp display

The ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ Sharp PN-K321 4K display

When Apple started offering a Sharp 4K display in its European online Apple Store, then withdrew it shortly afterwards, some speculated that this might mean an Apple 4K display is about to be launched.

It’s possible, of course, but I strongly suspect not. As I argued in October, the launch of the Mac Pro would have been the obvious point at which to announce an Apple 4K display – and current MacBook Pros can’t drive 4K displays at decent frame-rates, so I can’t see Apple launching a display that would leave the bulk of Mac owners disappointed.

The far more likely explanation is that Apple plans to sell the Sharp displays alongside the Mac Pro once it launches – as I suggested it might in that same opinion piece in October. The displays were inadvertently made live on the store before the Pro was launched, and have been removed until the Pro is available … 

If you are interested in the display, it is available at a number of retailers like B&H in the US  or Amazon where it retails for $3200-3300. We’ve also picked up the inexpensive $405 Seiki 39″ 4K display and will have a review this week.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard speculation about Apple’s 4K display plans: it was suggested only recently that AUO panels could form the basis of a Thunderbolt 2 display.

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24 Responses to “Removal of Sharp display from Apple Store probably doesn’t mean Apple’s 4K display is imminent”

  1. roanokephoto says:

    The Mac Pro was announced early in an otherwise unlikely scenario of the pro market pent up demand for a suitable replacement of an aging neglected product line. An early announcement of an Apple 4K monitor doesn’t seem necessary to keep the pro market looking elsewhere and should be announced in regular Apple fashion, when they become available, perhaps this December with the Mac Pro. It seems unlikely Apple will not release a monitor. Name another Apple product that requires the use of a non Apple product to work as designed, it’s not the Apple way of creating an Apple experience.


  2. Tim Jr. says:

    I’m not caring about 4k display. My new rMBP could barley run it anyway and I couldn’t AFFORD IT. What I DO want is an updated TB2 display with iMac like design/specs with USB3 and TB2 ports darn it! The current 27″ resolution is just fine for consumers, if they’d just release the gosh darn thing!

    Why we still have a USB 2.0/TB1 display is confusing to me.


    • zoidbert says:

      Just posted almost the same thing. That this display hasn’t been refreshed since September 2011 (that’s 816 days; see the MacRumors Buyers Guide) is perplexing. You’d think Apple’d at least have switched it to USB3 (or updated the MagSafe connector). I thought for sure when the new bezel iMacs were released back when that a new display was imminent.


  3. giorgiopagliara says:

    I wouldn’t buy the actual 27″ Thunderbolt display because is thicker and heavier than an iMac 27″ and I will not buy an Apple 27″ (or whatever) 4K display if the price is around $3k.
    It’s time for 2 different Thunderbolt displays?
    One with a “normal” resolution, a lower price and with the new iMac style deign, and the other one with a 4k resolution and a much higher price?


    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      I suspect there will be two for quite some time as the first 4K display will be a lot more expensive than the present Thunderbolt Display. As the cost of 4K displays fall, eventually the lower-res one will be dropped.


  4. Allan Clark says:

    Clearly a 4k is not a product for joe-average-user. Cue the many people claiming to not want one, not care, etc. More will buy it when it’s available than currently admit it, and there will be the usual “oh, it’s better than we thought!” while AAPL stock takes a 5% hit. These things always happen.

    My own wish list includes reducing the number of continuously-running processes (Do I need a JavaScheduler? Plus an iTunes Helper? Plus a Folder-actions-helper? Plus a ShareKit helper? Plus a DiskImageHelper? An Unmount Watcher? 6 Sandob helpers, and 5 Component helpers? Do ya think one helper with one RSeg would do it? inetd+cron anyone?) there are optimizations which would yield more things shut down in an idle box, reducing memory fragmentation and offering more freed up Resident Seg core for other processes.


  5. Shaun G says:

    The important question is: Why doesn’t Apple have their 4K Cinema Displays ready in time for the Mac Pro launch? It’s not like they didn’t know it wasn’t coming. Tim Cook said last year that we would see the new Mac Pro in 2013. They’ve left the Mac Pro release date as late as possible (9 Dec today and still no sign of it). It’s not like the 4K display panels aren’t available. Clearly they are or Sharp wouldn’t be selling them. This is yet another total f*** up by Tim Cook. They guy is supposed to be a logistics expert and he can’t even procure 4K panels in time for the release of their most expensive product.


  6. zoidbert says:

    Honestly, I could give a damn about a 4K display; I’d be happy with a regular Thunderbolt Display refresh with USB3 ports and an additional TB pass-thru (not to mention an upgraded magsafe connector for “docking” my new MBP).


  7. They removed it because OS X can’t do 4K, even if you do have the proper GPU / newer mac model. Mavericks is not capable of doing 4K @ 60Hz. The only way to achieve this is to run Windows 8 on your mac.


    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      This will be a very temporary removal, I’m sure. Apple demonstrated the Mac Pro connected to these displays so it’s not like the company doesn’t know the machine can drive them.