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The hardware announcements aren’t going to be the pedestrian stuff that we’ve mostly seen in the past — Apple has already gotten new iPads, new iMacs, and new MacBooks out of the way — but rather something considerably more exciting: The new modular Mac Pro that we’ve been hearing about for a couple years sounds like it’s almost ready to make its debut.
Along with that, we’ve been hearing for the past few months that Apple will be making a big return to the display business with a new ultra-high-end “Pro” display that will come in at 31.6 inches — the largest display Apple has ever made — and feature 6K resolution and mini-LED technology.
What We Know So Far
All of the rumours say that the new display is coming this year, and it makes a lot of sense for Apple to debut it alongside the new Mac Pro — it’s such a high-end display that it’s almost certainly being designed explicitly for that class of users. While there have been suggestions that Apple could eventually re-enter the market for more inexpensive 4K displays, it seems that for now, at least, Apple is still happy with its LG partnership.
While we’ve only been hearing more specific information about the new display for a couple of months now, Apple has been hinting at it for at least two years — when Senior VP Phil Schiller first acknowledged that Apple was working on a resigned Mac Pro, he also suggested that Apple would be returning to pro displays.
Internally known only by the code-name J290 — a moniker considerably less exciting than most Apple products get — 9to5Mac notes that the new monitor is expected to be a DCI-P3 display that will naturally support HDR, auto-brightness, Night Shift, and Apple’s True Tone technology — all things we’d more or less expect Apple to include in a premium display.
Apple’s True Tone technology was first introduced on the iPad Pro, and is designed to provide a high degree of color accuracy by adjusting the white point of the screen to match ambient lighting. While Apple also supports True Tone technology on its older Thunderbolt Display and Apple-designed LG UltraFine displays when they’re connected to one of its newer MacBooks, it sounds like the new display may support the feature natively, regardless of what it’s connected to.
Of course, the new display is also expected to feature “deep integration” with macOS, allowing users to finely tune settings and save them as preset display profiles that they can quickly switch between or transfer to other devices. The saved presets will include minimum and maximum brightness, color space, auto-brightness settings, white point, Night Shift, and more, and will be able to be set up as shortcuts in the menu bar, allowing users to quickly switch between different profiles for different creative projects, such as using one profile for photo editing and another for working with video. With Apple’s move to USB-C on the iPad Pro, we also wouldn’t be surprised to see similar integration on the iOS side.
While the size of the display has not yet been confirmed, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pegged it at 31.6 inches, and 9to5Mac has suggested that the resolution will be 6240 x 2880 in an ultra-wide-screen form factor. There’s been no real information so far on pricing or availability or what type of expansion port options the new display will include, although it’s a safe bet that it will be a Thunderbolt 3 display and have at least a few TB3 and USB-C ports built in. As for availability, we’d be surprised if we don’t see it introduced on stage next week, but that could just be a preview for an actual release later this year.