Last year when Apple declined to refresh its Thunderbolt display in favor of promoting LG's UltraFine displays, we all ooh-ed and aah-ed at the glorious 5K resolution and wide color gamut of the 27" model. As it turns out, 9to5mac found that those displays have a fairly serious flaw for a device intended to be used with laptops: they don't work near Wi-Fi access points and routers. LG confirmed the issue last week, and says it already has a fix prepared. Now, AppleInsider has gotten positive confirmation from sources inside Apple that the company has temporairly suspended sales of the monitor.
Although the folks at 9to5mac were the first to report on the monitor's woes late last month, owners were leaving negative reviews about it at least a week before. When an affected display is placed within 2 meters of a Wi-Fi access point, the on-screen image will flicker, become corrupted, or simply disappear. LG says the issue is down to insufficient shielding around the monitor's electronics, and that existing units can be retrofitted with additional shielding. New units will have the fix installed from the factory.
For its part, Apple still has the UltraFine 5K on display in its stores. According to AppleInsider, Apple's retail locations have been told not to sell the monitor nor fill any pending orders until otherwise notified. Additionally, 9to5mac reports that Apple is actually removing salable displays from its stores until it can re-stock with the new revision. Apple's website has moved U.S. shippping date estimates for the UltraFine 5K from the usual 2-3 days all the way to 5-6 weeks, suggesting that it may take a bit for fixed units to find their way into customers' hands. LG encourages current owners of the Ultrafine 5K display to contact its support department.