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Apple: Make External Displays Insanely Great Again! (Update: Pro XDR a Partial Solution)

This petition had 309 supporters

June 7, 2019 - Update: It appears our prior declaration of victory was premature. A few days ago Apple announced its Pro Display XDR, which addresses the needs of ultra high-end pros. Awesome! Yay, Apple! However, at $5000+, that monitor is too expensive for mass-market Mac users. So, please sign the new petition here asking Apple to create an affordable yet still great external Mac display.


April 4, 2017 - Update: We win! Apple's Phil Schiller has officially stated that Apple will make external pro displays in the future (although not shipping in 2017).

"As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year [2017]..."



original petition, preserved for posterity:

Dear Apple,

We ❤️ the Mac. We ask you to make external Mac displays again, because the ones you make are beautifully designed, offer best-in-class imagery, are brilliantly engineered, integrate fantastically into the Mac ecosystem, and add polish to the Apple brand.

LG's 5K UltraFine display: not so much. “Listless Garbage” comes to mind. Apple has experimented with such partnerships in the past, and ended them when they weren’t in the best interests of Apple and/or users. It’s time to end the partnership with LG.

The LG 5K UltraFine monitor Just Doesn’t Work. It’s a failure on almost every level: design, functionality, engineering, and customer support…

  • The black plastic case/bezel is FUgLY. Would Apple put its seal on a monitor that looked like this?
  • If a Wifi router or Sonos speaker is placed near the monitor, it blacks out and causes the MacBook Pro to reset, crash, or kernel panic. 
  • Even when there’s no Wifi router conflict, the slightest movement or jostling of the Thunderbolt 3 cable causes the monitor to black out, and any external hard drives that are attached to the back of the monitor to be force-ejected. This can also cause the MacBook Pro to restart or shutdown. This is a data loss/corruption risk. No such cable problem has existed for past Apple monitors.
  • Numerous users have reported wake-from-sleep problems and crashing, again, even when there’s no Wifi router conflict. Many owners of the 4K UltraFine have reported the same problem.
  • Occasionally, cursors and other graphical artifacts get frozen on the screen, even when there’s no Wifi router conflict.
  • The screen is covered by cheap plastic, not the nice glass of an iMac or Thunderbolt Display.
  • The screen isn’t solid: even the slightest press causes the plastic to bend.
  • LG’s weird monitor driver software causes an annoying red box to appear on the screen at seemingly random times, which apparently cannot be disabled.
  • When typing text in certain apps like TextEdit, there’s an intermittent delay in display of text on the screen, occasionally rendering said Apps effectively unusable. (This may not be related to the LG monitor, thus appears last on the list; all of the above are LG-owned issues.)
  • LG simply doesn’t have the infrastructure, training, resources, culture, or commitment to provide Apple-level customer service. As of the writing of this petition, LG has announced an intention to resolve only the Wifi router conflict in future manufacturing runs, and has yet to address the numerous other functionality issues described above. This sounds like a recipe for continued pain. Further, LG has yet to announce a coherent recall-and-replace program for existing 5K monitors. Obviously, an Apple-designed and Apple-branded monitor would receive the same customer support as any other Apple product, and could easily be brought into an Apple store for repair/replacement if needed, an unlikely scenario because we imagine Apple would get it right from the start.
  • This petition does not attempt to address all of the issues with this monitor. More problems may well be noted in the online reviews and support threads.
  • On the plus side, the image quality of the LG 5K monitor is fantastic. And, image quality alone does not make for a happy experience.

We can easily imagine what a 5K Mac external display should be: a 5K iMac re-engineered as an external display with Thunderbolt 3. We want brushed aluminium. We want gorgeous glass. We want a display that looks fantastic, is right at home next to a current-model MacBook Pro, and Just Works. We want Mac external displays that are Designed By Apple in California.

Relatedly: please update the Retina iMac to support Target Display Mode via Thunderbolt 3.

Why should Apple make a superb display for Pros –– and for the Pros in all of us? We are your developers, graphic designers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, photographers, writers, educators, dreamers, and dabblers. We are the ones who think different, and create the results of that different thinking using your tools. When one of us drafts the next Starry Night on a Mac, we want to be inspired by a gorgeous display that’s as beautiful as the creation of our clicks. We are technophiles who influence low-information consumers. Meet our needs, and we will continue to be allies to Apple in every forum.

Investing in fantastic external displays may not directly generate voluminous revenue, but it will generate billions of little moments of “Yay!” Isn’t that what using a Mac, or any Apple device, is about? That goodwill will, in turn, generate karmic upside for the entire Apple ecosystem.

Macs being insanely great is the result of many pieces of the puzzle all fitting together beautifully, and each of those individual pieces must be insanely great. External displays are an essential and inseparable part of the entire puzzle. We fear for the future of the Mac when something as important as external displays is farmed out to the C-Minus players at LG.

To all our dear friends at Apple: Tim, Jony, Craig, Phil, Dan, Johny, Richard, and the rest of the crew…

Make External Displays Again.

More so: Make External Displays Insanely Great Again.



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