The New Standard: Apple Display

With the release of Apple’s new Studio Display, a new standard of creativity may be here to stay. Are the specifications and prices good enough?

It’s no secret that Apple’s Cinema and Thunderbolt displays have been left out. In some cases, they remain a staple in offices and studios. The 2011 Thunderbolt display was never replaced in the 2010s – by Apple or otherwise. To date, brands are refuse to show their product on any other screen.

Remember when OS X became the standard for ads? Connections like Firewire and Thunderbolt are the industry standard. Final Cut 7 was a standard, and ProRes still dominates to this day (sorry, DNxHR).

Famous or not, Apple’s technology is undoubtedly one of the most beloved of the creative industries. Now that their M1 chip is so powerful and focused on creative work, I think we’ll start to see more Mac-based industry standards.


Production pipelines will not often use expensive reference screens. Whether it’s for photography, graphics or videography purposes, sometimes, clients approve content on their smartphones or editorial teams don’t work with color-critical displays.

Having the consistency of the Apple display has really helped. Personally, I was relieved to hear that a customer was using an iMac to view my content. At least the iMac on which I’m testing the footage won’t look too different from the customer’s. Let’s face it, ProRes gamma issues are more likely to cause color problems for me.

The gap in the market is narrowing more and more, as Apple is finally competing again in this area. It has the potential for a new industry standard. At the very least, this can only be a good thing for consistency across ads.


The Thunderbolt display cost $999 in 2011. That’s about $1,260 in today’s dollars. Later LG’s 5K Super Smooth The monitor went on sale at Apple stores for $1,299. Now Apple is asking at least $1,599 for their new product Studio Screen.

The display of the latest iMac is essentially a miniature version of Studio Display, and you can get an entire iMac for $1,299. Maybe this could be a cheaper alternative to Sidecar (like the Target Display mode in the 2010s). However, Studio Monitors can be more reasonably priced.

I think Apple’s Pro Display XDR competitively priced for professional use. Studio monitors will need to be significantly better than the competition to become the industry standard. $1,599 is not an everyday person’s screen.

However, if Studio Display works similarly to Apple’s current line of monitors (laptops and desktops), it will become part of the industry standard. The M1 hype is real, and I can see these monitors flooding the creative market with it.

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