Apple Studio Display ‘Pro’ delayed until October due to production issues

The rumor: Apple’s rumored Mini-LED Studio Display won’t be releasing this Summer after all, according to Ross Young (92.9% accurate).

  • A new 27-inch Mini-LED Apple monitor with 120Hz ProMotion is now said to be releasing in October 2022…initially we thought it was coming in June
  • Lockdowns in China due to COVID-19 have reportedly contributed to the delays, and Apple is looking to move production elsewhere to mitigate
  • It’s still somewhat unclear what exactly this monitor will be called, but it essentially sounds like a ‘Pro’ version of Apple’s existing Studio Display

Sam’s take: If this leak was from anyone else other than Young, I would have some major doubts. And even now I still do! Because Apple offering 2 slightly different 27-inch displays is extremely confusing to me. Basically, I’m just hoping that there’s a new 32-inch Pro Display XDR in development with these same specs, and it won’t be replaced with this smaller 27-inch monitor…

Many Apple products sold out for months as supply chain issues finally add up

The news: In a situation that has been developing for months, significant product shortages have finally begun to affect the Cupertino tech giant across numerous product categories.

As first noted by @BasicAppleGuy, here are the current estimated shipping times for the following products in the United States:

  • iPad Air: 31-38 days
  • Mac Studio (M1 Max base model): 9-17 days
  • Mac Studio (M1 Ultra base model): 52-67 days
  • Mac Studio (custom configuration): 80-94 days
  • Apple Studio Display: 60-74 days
  • MacBook Pro (base 14/16-inch): 57-71 days
  • MacBook Pro (custom configuration): 59-76

Some stock may show up sporadically in Apple Stores between now and these estimated dates…but the availability will be quite constrained for the next 2-3 months.

Sam’s take: We’ve been hearing about supply chain issues since the beginning of 2020 when COVID first struck, but Apple has been largely immune to the effects until now. While some products like the iPhone and iPad had been temporarily hard to find, 3 of the 4 new products from Apple’s March 8 event are still sold out for weeks. Not to mention the crazy delays on new MacBook Pro models that were released in October of last year. But the well-being of the workers who assemble these products must come first, even if it means worse delays than what we’re seeing now.

Did Apple really fix the camera on the Studio Display? Here are some before and after comparisons.

The news: A new beta update for the Studio Display has been released…and fixes for the camera are included, according to The Verge.

  • Overall, reviewers liked Apple’s new Studio Display…but there was one resounding point of criticism: the new camera is very bad
  • In what appeared to be an odd miss for a company that ships some of the best cameras in the world, Apple quickly promised a future software update that would improve the quality
  • “An update to the Studio Display firmware is now available with today’s beta release of macOS Monterey 12.4. This beta update has refinements to the Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing,” Apple says
  • So, does the update actually make it any better? Yes and no. While there are moderate improvements in those areas aforementioned (better detail and color overall)…it still looks sub-par considering the $1,599 cost of entry for the Studio Display. As The Verge’s Nilay Patel writes, “It does seem like Apple’s decision to put a wide-angle lens on this camera for Center Stage support is working against image quality here — no matter what, it’s cropping down that sensor, giving the whole system less data to work with.” Thus, the Studio Display’s camera issues have always been more of a hardware than software problem.

Sam’s take: Oh man. I guess I naively thought the image quality was bad just due to some weird software bug. But the software weirdness looks to be only about 30% of the real problem: which is that the actual camera hardware here doesn’t look very good. The new beta no doubt improves the image quality…but it’s still extremely subpar for an Apple display to me. As something marketed to be placed in studios, there’s nothing studio quality about the camera on Apple’s Studio Display. Maybe further software updates will continue to improve things. But right now I’m still disappointed.

Before/after the update, via The Verge

Before/after the update, via James Thomson

Images via Jason Snell

Apple has no plans for a sub-$1,000 monitor following Studio Display announcement

The rumor: Apple’s monitor lineup will look exactly like it does now for some time, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

Sam’s take: Just like Apple essentially took the panel from a 27-inch iMac and turned it into a standalone display…I would love if Apple did the same with current 24-inch iMac. And I think more people than you’d think would be down to spend $999 on a display that isn’t out-of-this-world technically advanced but that looks sharp as hell. Plus, it would recreate the trio of monitors that Apple did offer in the mid-2000s…

Kuo: No mini-LED for 11-inch iPad Pro or upcoming ‘Studio Display Pro’ in 2022

The report: Apple will not release devices that require new sized Mini-LED displays in 2022, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

Ian’s Take: Kuo and Young, two very reputable sources, agree that the 11-inch iPad Pro will not get a Mini-LED display this year. This is disappointing as it seemed that Apple was finally starting to make their smaller devices equal to their larger devices (ex. iPhone 13 Pro vs. Pro Max, 14-inch MacBook Pro vs. 16-inch). While I agree with Kuo on the iPad Pro, I don’t agree with him on the upcoming ‘Studio Display Pro.’ I believe that if Apple wants to release a display in the $3000 range, it has to feature Mini-LED. It looks like we won’t have to wait long to see this display: Ross Young says it could release as early as June.

‘Studio Display Pro’ with Mini-LED rumored to release at WWDC 2022

The rumor: Apple could be releasing a higher-end Studio Display as soon as June, according to Ross Young (100% accurate).

Sam’s take: There’s been a lot of speculation since Apple’s Peek Performance event and the discontinuation of the 27-inch iMac: namely, is there going to be another large iMac from Apple anytime soon? This seems to suggest that there won’t be a new iMac anytime soon. Interesting…

Apple Studio Display tidbits: What Apple didn’t tell you

The news: Now that Apple’s Studio Display is official, let’s take a deeper dive into the intricacies of the product that Apple didn’t talk about on stage at their Peek Performance event.

  • The Studio Display screen is identical to that of the 27-inch iMac
    • 27-inch 5K Retina display
    • 5120-by-2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch
    • 600 nits brightness
    • Support for 1 billion colors
    • Wide color (P3)
    • True Tone
  • Thus, it’s a 60Hz panel and there’s no 120Hz ProMotion technology
  • Center Stage on the new 12MP ultra-wide camera, Spatial Audio and “Hey Siri” are all enabled courtesy of the powerful A13 Bionic processor
  • Only 1 of the 4 USB-C ports is Thunderbolt 3 (40Gb/s)…the other 3 USB-C sports cap out at transfer speeds of 10Gb/s
  • While the tilt-only stand is included for the base $1599 price, the tilt- and height-adjustable stand runs an extra $400…and that one weighs 3 pounds more
  • A new 1 meter Thunderbolt cable is included in the box with all models…but buyers of the nano-texture glass version get an official Apple polishing cloth, too

Sam’s take: Overall, there really aren’t any surprises here. Apple was incredibly straightforward about this display when they announced it and there aren’t any red flags. I think $1,599 is an incredible value for what you’re getting in this package. But man did I wish it had 120Hz ProMotion… So here’s to the Pro Display XDR 2.