Last year Apple discontinued sales of the only remaining Apple display with an Apple logo; the aging Thunderbolt display. Good riddance. It was an overpriced, underpowered, much criticized, and anemic display with weak specifications and weaker resolution.
What new model did Apple introduce to replace the old Thunderbolt display? Nothing. Instead of an Apple-branded screen made by Samsung or Sony or LG or whoever else makes such high resolution displays with an Apple logo slapped on the front, Apple cut a deal with Korean technology giant LG for a couple of replacement displays.
Where’s The Apple Logo?
2016 was a year of pruning for Apple as the company decided to get out of technology segments where it could not compete against companies with better products. No more Airport Wi-Fi for you! No more Apple Thunderbolt display for you! Instead, Apple exited the home and SOHO Wi-Fi business altogether. Ditto for the standalone display business.
Instead of an Apple-branded display showing off a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, Apple decided to sell a couple of LG-branded Retina 4k and 5k displays instead. Got a Mac Pro or a new MacBook Pro and you want a higher resolution display? It won’t have an Apple logo on it. Instead, Apple’s customers get a drop dead ugly, misshapen rectangular, sterile black box from LG which runs only the new USB-C ports (which are not available on any Apple product except the new Mac notebooks).
Apple says the company worked with LG on these two new displays, both of which only work on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro models, so if you have any other kind of Mac, then you’re still looking for a third party display to match.
I get why Apple doesn’t want to engage in the display business. There’s no money there. But by whose standards? Obviously, someone makes money selling displays, otherwise there would not be twenty eleven models available. Just from Dell. The problem I see here is that Apple is desperate for another big iPhone-like hit and any other product that won’t generate such numbers gets snubbed.
Mac? iPad? Pfft. Who cares? They’re both lame, amirite, Apple? The Mac is 20th century technology and in a few years it will be replaced by the next great thing. ‘Oh, by the way, sorry it wasn’t the iPad,’ says Apple. Finally, Apple realized iPad is just a big iPhone, so they decided to build a big iPhone. That explains why Mac sales and iPad sales have been in a free fall in the past year or two. Amirite, Apple?
Compared to the iPhone’s revenue and profits, every product Apple ships pales by comparison. But is that a good reason to ignore all the rest of Apple’s branded products? No. People buy Macs, iPads, even Watch. And if the new display was an LG Retina 4k or 5k display with a case that looked like something Apple designed, and had an Apple logo on it, and could connect to another Apple product, customers might just ante up a few coins and buy it, and even if Apple didn’t make a lot of money on displays, just think of the value of advertising the logo, and the ability of such a device to make some Apple customers happier than if they owned an ugly black box from LG.
Instead, Apple seems far too interested in buying back stock, handing out dividends to investors who already made a fortune on AAPL, paying fat bonuses to chunky marketing executives, and ignoring every other product that isn’t an iPhone because that’s where the real money is these days.
Also, check out Zac Hall’s problems with the new LG display and how the Retina 5k version performed near a router. Maybe there’s another reason there’s no Apple logo on this new beast.