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Apple Studio Display Pro reportedly facing delays — here's when it could ship

Apple Studio Display connected to Mac Studio
(Image credit: Future)

Update: Dell's latest monitor has a 4K HDR webcam that could give the Apple Studio Display a run for its money

A rumored pro version of the Apple Studio Display may be arriving later than first thought, and the Covid-19 pandemic may be to blame.

Back in March, display analyst Ross Young claimed that Apple was working on a 27-inch Mini-LED display with a June release date (opens in new tab). Originally thought to be destined for an all-in-one iMac, Young has since suggested that the panel will be a standalone Studio Display Pro that sits between the standard $1,499 Studio Display and $5,000 Pro Display XDR in Apple's display product line.

Young now has a revised ETA for the panel. Thanks to Covid-19 lockdowns in China, the screen won’t be unveiled until at least October. 

“The 27-inch Mini-LED monitor has been delayed as it was going to be produced at Quanta in Shanghai which has been locked down,” Young tweeted (opens in new tab). “Production is in the process of being moved to a different location and has been delayed. It now looks like an October release.”

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Mini-LED tech is something that Apple has been keen to push in its premium products, introducing it to both the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year. The display technology offers diodes that are a fifth of the size of standard LEDs, measuring between 200 and 600 micrometers across. Thanks to a higher density of diodes, mini-LED panels can offer tightly controlled lighting zones, leading to better contrast and deeper blacks.

But there’s a reason that mini-LED has been limited to Apple’s more expensive consumer products. It isn’t a cheap addition, so expect any Studio Display Pro to cost much more than the $1,499 Apple charges for its current Studio Display — especially if Apple is able to add 120Hz ProMotion support. 

When Young was asked directly if he knew the price, he ominously replied (opens in new tab): “No, but expensive.”

Indeed, it’s this expense that led one of Young’s analyst peers to conclude that Apple won’t be releasing a Mini-LED display in the near future. “Apple may not launch new Mini-LED products this year due to cost concerns,” Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted (opens in new tab) back in March.

If Young is right, however, we can only speculate as to how high that price could feasibly go. But given the $5,000 Pro Display XDR exists, we know Apple isn’t scared of ultra-premium pricing for displays. Indeed, earlier Young speculated that the rumored Studio Display Pro could ultimately end up replacing Apple’s top-end display, given the newer screen tech. “It may replace the XDR since the new MiniLED monitor will have around 2X as many MiniLED zones and >7X more LEDs,” he tweeted (opens in new tab) in March.

An October release date would push the rumored dislay back to what could be a busy holiday period for Apple. As well as the assumed September launch of the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch 8, Apple is said to be planning the 2022 MacBook Air as a “nice holiday seller” and there’s even talk of a new HomePod, too. Apple superfans may want to start saving up now. 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.