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Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 05:21 pm PT (08:21 pm ET)

Apple shipping first Thunderbolt Displays to stores, resellers

A pair of new reports suggest Apple is shipping its new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display to its retail stores and resellers this week, while individual pre-orders are said to have shipping estimates of Sept. 15.

MacRumors reported on Tuesday that the new displays are arriving this week and will be available for purchase "very soon." Meanwhile, Electronista noted that it has heard of Sept. 15 shipping estimates for online pre-order customers.

Apple unveiled the $999 27-inch LED display, billed as the world's first display to take advantage of the new Thunderbolt I/O technology, in July, promising availability within 60 days. The display requires a Mac with a Thunderbolt I/O port.

The Thunderbolt Display features a 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle made possible via IPS technology. It also includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera, a 2.1 speaker system, MagSafe charger, three USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port.

Thunderbolt display


Up to five additional Thunderbolt devices can be daisy chained to the display. Additionally, eligible Macs, such as the MacBook Pro, can run two Thunderbolt Displays.

“The Apple Thunderbolt Display is the ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said when the display was first unveiled. "With just one cable, users can dock with their new display and connect to high performance peripherals, network connections and audio devices.”

Thunderbolt display


Apple and Intel co-developed the Thunderbolt standard, combining the chipmaker's Light Peak technology with the Mini DisplayPort standard. Thunderbolt currently supports two channels of 10Gbps transfers in both directions and is expected to eventually reach speeds of 100Gbps. The Mac maker has quickly added the technology to many of its Mac computers, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air and Mac Mini.

The first Thunderbolt external RAID storage options arrived on the Apple online store in June. LaCie was scheduled to release the more consumer-oriented Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drive in "Summer 2011," but has yet to announce a more specific release date.