While it initially appeared this might simply be a server issue, it’s now being suggested that the problem was due to an embarrassing mistake by Apple …
Apple announced the $1,599 Studio Display a month ago.
The Studio Display measures 27-inches on the diagonal, with 5K display resolution. You can also get a nano-texture display option to minimise glare. The Studio display integrates an A13 chip to provide rich integration and features, including powering the speaker system and a Center Stage-enabled webcam.
However, it wasn’t long before reviewers started complaining about the quality of that webcam.
It looks awful in good light, and downright miserable in low light [producing[ a grainy, noisy image with virtually no detail. I tried it in FaceTime, in Zoom, in Photo Booth, in QuickTime – you name it, it’s the same sad image quality.
Apple promised this would be fixed in a software update, meaning a lot of people tried to install the first firmware update as soon as it was available. However, many of them were unable to do so, instead seeing an error message.
Apple Studio Display firmware update could not be completed. Try again in an hour. If the problem persists, contact an authorized Apple service provider.
Apple Studio Display firmware updates now work
The update to firmware version 15.4 now works – though it still doesn’t solve the webcam image quality problem. Apple says that this will follow.
The reason for the firmware update failure was unknown, but Macworld suggests this may have been down to an embarrassing oversight by Apple – effectively forgetting that the Studio Display exists when launching iOS 15.4.1!
As it turns out, the root of the problem was Apple itself. On Friday, Apple stopped signing iOS 15.4 after it released iOS 15.4.1 on March 30. When Apple stops signing a version of an operating system, it becomes unavailable and devices can’t install it. Since the Studio Display basically has the guts of an iPhone 11, it couldn’t properly install version 15.4—and 15.4.1 isn’t available for Studio Display.
As of Sunday night, Apple had fixed the issue by allowing 15.4 to be signed again.
While there’s no official word from Apple, this explanation does fit the facts perfectly: Apple stopped signing 15.4; Studio Displays were unable to update; Apple signed 15.4 again; Studio Displays now update.
To update, you first need to ensure your Mac is updated to macOS 12.3.1, then go to System Preferences > Software Update.
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