Apple halts sales of LG UltraFine 5K monitor over Wi-Fi snafu

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.

Comments closed
    • btb
    • 3 years ago

    LG and Acer are two brands I avoid like the plague. The few products I have bought from them have always turned out to either have quality issues, or have extremely poor driver support.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    The only reason to remove the cheap shielding that even my plastic monitors include is because they’re trying to make the display TOO THIN.

    Seriously, thin-obsession is a cancer to the tech industry. Technical flaws like exploding batteries or fragile chassis, to reduced runtime and overheating issues, then there’s stuff like compromised backlighting quality and keyboard key travel.

    [b<]STOP MAKING THINGS SO THIN THEY ARE FUNCTIONALLY BROKEN BY DESIGN, YOU IDIOTS. STOP BUYING THINGS THAT ARE THIN INSTEAD OF GOOD, YOU IDIOTS.[/b<] I think that covers it.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    [b<]New product launch:[/b<] Thunderbolt ferrite choke dongle.

      • ludi
      • 3 years ago

      iChoke(tm), $99, available in white, silver, and black. Designed in California by Apple, Inc. Note: Two required per cable. (USPTO Application No. X/2017020539, “Design, Means, Method, and Apparatus to Beneficially Reduce Radio Frequency Interference in Consumer Electronic Device via Ferrous Shielding of Electrical Conductive Path”).

      • HERETIC
      • 3 years ago

      Tinfoil with apple logo-ONLY $80 ROLL……………………..

    • Wirko
    • 3 years ago

    Translated into the precise language of mathematics,

    LG + Apple < LG

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      :. LG > Apple

    • cycomiko
    • 3 years ago

    Pretty obvious that people are just displaying it wrong

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      Evidently the world isn’t ready to be brave enough to move on from wifi….

        • Platedslicer
        • 3 years ago

        Shouldn’t that be “courageous”?

    • invinciblegod
    • 3 years ago

    How did LG fail so hard on this monitor when their 4K display worked just fine? Is thunderbolt 3 more susceptible to interference?

      • jts888
      • 3 years ago

      Transceivers are getting better, but USB 3.1g2 pushes 10Gb per wire pair, the same as 40 GbE over twinax copper lines, with vastly cheaper cable and connector structures.

      I’m actually more surprised that it and Thunderbolt haven’t had a lot more problems.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]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.[/quote<] They didn't hire that guy from that movie that came out last December did they? I'm pretty sure he intentionally omitted some critical shielding from some exhaust ports and the design problems really blew up his customers' faces.

      • davidbowser
      • 3 years ago

      In his defense, they did kill his wife.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        LG HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR!

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      I guess that monitor wasn’t so… UltraFine after all.

      I’ll let myself out.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Needs sunglasses.

        And a YEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!

          • chubbyhorse
          • 3 years ago

          (•_•) / ( •_•)>⌐■-■ / (⌐■_■)
          YEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!

    • adisor19
    • 3 years ago

    Another sign that Apple should not have stopped making their own displays. *sigh*

    Adi

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      The new Macbook Pros have issues connecting to wifi when using USB C accessories, so I’m not entirely sure they would have avoided the wifi problem 😛

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYVjIjBMx6o[/url<]

        • blastdoor
        • 3 years ago

        Even bigger sigh

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        That’s also not the first time that [url=https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201163#15<]Apple has had interference issues[/url<]. OWC sold a shielding kit that supposedly fixes it. It's [url=https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMM12BTS/<]$5 from the store[/url<], and I'm sure it would have cost Apple pennies to do on their own.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          They’ve built computers for a long time. And really, they’re good at it, decision and price critiques aside. So this really baffles me that they failed to put proper shielding in them multiple times.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Everyone (even the best) will flub up from time to time, but for those prices, it’s totally unacceptable to have performance compromises.

      • albundy
      • 3 years ago

      i had no idea that they ever did. usually semiconductors supply panels and they just slap their logo on the plastic frame.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        They always got panels from LG and others and built the display assembly (and in some cases, custom timing controller) around them, but this does provide our proof that that’s not insubstantial without the right R&D.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      Apple is another ODM in the monitor market.

      They source the actual panels from elsewhere like most other monitor vendors on the market. They left the market because the margins were small when compared to their more lucrative markets.

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