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Apple Thunderbolt Display shortages hint at possible WWDC reveal

There’s growing speculation that Apple’s Thunderbolt Display might be about to get a refresh. There are numerous reports that the monitor is out of stock at the company’s retail locations, which is in line with what we’ve seen in the past when a product line is set to be given an update.

Updated on 06-02-2016 by Brad Jones: Added new information about the potential for a Thunderbolt Display successor being outfitted with its own GPU.

The display is currently only available via the ship-to-store delivery method in Apple Store locations in Albany, Buffalo, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, Syracuse, and more, according to a report from Mac Rumors.

In Canada, the monitor is only available in locations like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Reports from the United Kingdom suggest that the Apple Store situated on London’s Regent Street is the only one with stock of the Thunderbolt Display within 100 miles of the capital.

Related: Leaked images claim to show next-gen MacBook Pro with OLED touch bar

Furthermore, it seems that the shortages affecting the London area have now been in effect for more than a month. A tip submitted to Mac Rumors suggests that stock has actually been sent back to warehouses for storage, which would certainly seem to indicate that the Thunderbolt Display is set to be replaced in one form or another.

Apple introduced the Thunderbolt Display back in 2011, so it’s fair to say that it’s showing its age at this point. A revamped version would likely boast a 5K resolution, improved connectivity with USB Type-C ports, and of course an update to its physical design to bring the monitor in line with the company’s other products.

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Rumors are now doing the rounds that the monitor set to replace the Thunderbolt Display might pack more of a punch than expected. The new display is set to boast a 5K resolution of 5,120 × 2,880 pixels, according to a report from 9to5Mac.

To facilitate that resolution, there’s word that the monitor will feature its own dedicated GPU. It may seem unusual to house this kind of component inside a display, but doing so would allow Apple to continue manufacturing thin, light laptops that can connect to a high-quality monitor when convenient.

Given then timing of these Thunderbolt Display shortages, it seems likely that the monitor’s successor will be revealed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 (WWDC), scheduled to run from June 13-17 in San Francisco.

Article originally published on 06-01-2016.