Apple Cinema Display page under maintenance ahead of Thunderbolt update [u]

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Shortly after leaked images of an updated Thunderbolt-capable LED Cinema Display surfaced, the Apple Online Store's page for the product stopped working, serving as further evidence that a refresh is imminent.

Update: Apple has restored the pages in question to working order.

Late Friday, Apple's own links to the product page for its $999 27-inch LED display went down, instead offering up the message, "Oops! An error has occurred during your session," as noticed by TUAW.

Additionally, the digital storefront's Displays & Graphics page shows a placeholder cardboard box image for the product and links to the currently unavailable Cinema Display page. However, the correct image does show up in the Similar Products view.

While it's certainly possible that Apple is merely experiencing technical difficulties with its website, Friday's discovery of images on Apple's servers showing off a new Thunderbolt-equipped display point to the likelihood of an upcoming refresh. URLs for the images identified the part number for the new displays as "MC914," which had previously been claimed to be for either a Mac Pro or white MacBook.

One leaked image depicts two Cinema Displays daisy-chained to a MacBook Pro. The images are also noteworthy because they feature the new Mac OS X Lion desktop background instead of the Snow Leopard background depicted on images of the current version of the display.

Cinema 1

AppleInsider was first to report the company's plans for a Thunderbolt-equipped display last month. Given the apparent timing of the update, the new displays could launch alongside upgrade MacBook Air models, which are expected to arrive soon.

The new ultra-thin laptops are said to include the Thunderbolt I/O, new Sandy Bridge processors from Intel and backlit keyboards. AppleInsider noted last month that Apple has been holding back the machines until Lion is finished. The next major upgrade to Mac OS X is scheduled to arrive sometime in July. People familiar with the matter have recently suggested that last minute security issues related to the new app resume feature may have resulted in minor delays.