Apple's Studio Display is found to be running iOS 15.4 - is this the 27-inch iMac?

Top-down view of a monitor and keyboard
(Image credit: Apple)

It's been discovered that Apple's Studio Display runs on iOS 15.4, making us wonder if the display may see some additional improvements in the future.

According to Daring Fireball, if you go to Applications > Utilities > System Information and find your Studio Display, you'll see the software version as 15.4.

This isn't groundbreaking information, as the display is powered by an A13 chip, the same that powered the iPhone 11 series and iPad (ninth generation). But it's telling that instead of a software driver that's usually present in monitors, it's an operating system that powers Apple's iOS devices.

It makes us wonder whether we already have a 27-inch modular iMac running on Apple Silicon, and what this could mean for the iPad going forward.


Analysis: A display that also rivals Apple TV

The first SoC (System on a Chip) by Apple first debuted with the iPhone 4 back in 2010, called the A4. Since then, we've seen different types of Apple chips on wearables, tablets, Macs, and now displays.

But it's an interesting prospect that we're now seeing another version of iOS loaded onto the Studio Display. A tweet over the weekend also spotted that it has 64GB of storage loaded on.

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Even though we already have an iMac with an Apple Silicon chip, it's the first time that we've seen iOS 15.4 appear on a new Apple product that doesn't run iOS, or the Apple TV, where the latest model runs on an older A12 chip.

Software updates for the display could improve its features, especially with its camera which had a polarizing opinion in terms of its image quality.

We're at a point where we're already seeing a 27-inch iMac running on Apple Silicon, but not with macOS. It blurs the line as to what we could see from Apple in the coming years in more shapes and sizes than what the Mac Studio offers.

Instead of a bigger iPad Pro, we could see a monitor solely running iPadOS, tailored to a 27-inch display. An 'iPad Studio' suddenly doesn't seem too outside the realms of possibility.

As there's a good chance we'll see iPadOS 16 at WWDC this year, Apple's yearly developer conference, users have been clamoring for better external display support for the iPad.

It seems as though it's the perfect time for both products to see an improvement in how the iPad is perceived, especially for pros. But while I'm happy with my MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), the potential of iPadOS is there, it just needs a push. And with the Studio Display running on iOS 15.4, it seems as though worlds are about to collide.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.