Apple granted design patent for Thunderbolt DisplayThe U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday awarded Apple with the design rights to the Thunderbolt Display, which the company first introduced in 2011 as one of the first accessory
Taking design cues from the iMac, the current 27-inch Thunderbolt Display was one of the first accessories to be compatible with the high-speed I/O technology for which it is named. Boasting an aluminum and glass structure with a prominent black bezel, Apple's display serves not only as a monitor, but also a Thunderbolt-enabled MacBook dock with MagSafe power, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, 2.1 channel speakers and a FaceTime HD camera with microphone.
Recent stockouts of the display, as first reported in January, have prompted some to believe that Apple is drawing down supply to make room for a model refresh.
A new model could see a thinner design based on the current generation iMac, with speculation pointing to upgraded USB 3.0 ports like those included in the redesigned all-in-one computer.