Cheaper 'Studio Display' rumored for today's Apple Event – and I'd buy it in an instant

I'm taking this rumour with a big pinch of salt but I'd love an affordable Apple display for my Mac

Apple Pro Display
(Image credit: Apple)

I'm pretty sure that Apple's Pro Display XDR would be brilliant with my Mac, but as it costs the same as three and a half M1 MacBook Pros I'll have to file it alongside marrying Emma Stone and having a helicopter made of diamonds in my "in your dreams, buddy" list. So whenever there's talk of an Apple display I could actually buy I'm all ears. The latest rumour, as reported by MacRumors, is that Apple will announce a consumer display at today's Apple Event and this one will cost less than a single MacBook. 

That's still expensive by monitor standards, as a look at our best monitors for MacBook Pro guide demonstrates. But by Apple standards it's positively Poundland. And if some of the other rumours that are swirling about are correct, it's more than just a monitor.

Why I'm excited, and why I'm not

Let's start with the cynicism. This particular report comes via a YouTuber who I've never heard of and who, as MacRumors admits, "has an unverified track record when it comes to sharing Apple's plans". The renders of the supposed new display don't include any visible ports, which you kinda need if you want to connect your monitor to your Mac, and they look pretty much like an edited image of the 24-inch iMac or the Pro Display XDR pictured above. 

MacRumors' suggestion of a $1,000/AU$1,399 price tag is speculation too; two days ago they were predicting $2,500/AU$3,500. 

So I'm taking this with more than just a pinch of salt.

That said, we know that Apple is working on a 27-inch, 5K consumer monitor (a 7K pro one is also due later) and that it intends to release it at some point this year; Mark Gurman, who's usually pretty good on Apple rumours, says that it may well be announced today. So it's not impossible that this display does exist, that we'll see it today, and that it'll definitely cost a lot less than the Pro Display XDR. So a display with 5,120 x 2,880 5K resolution, 500 nits of brightness and P3 wide colour support sounds likely.

The tastiest rumour suggests that the Studio Display will have its own intelligence in the form of an A-series chip, like the ones in the iPhones, and that it will run iOS. It's not impossible that Apple's display could have its own smarts, perhaps enabling it to work as a stand-alone AirPlay receiver, to control a CentreStage webcam or to carry out image processing on non-Mac input sources. But to my mind that sounds more like an Apple-branded TV. I'm wondering if two different rumours are getting confused here, because we've heard reports for some time now that Apple was working on a HomePod with a built-in display as well as its 5K monitor. We'll find out for sure this evening.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).