Studio Display users couldn't update their monitors, but Apple fixed it — here's what happened

Studio Display and Mac Studio
Studio Display and Mac Studio (Image credit: Apple)

Studio Display users flooded Apple's discussion forum over the weekend after many faced errors trying to update their devices. As many scratched their head over the hindrance, MacWorld discovered the root of the problem: a faux pas on Apple's part. 

To understand Apple's misfire, you must know that the Studio Display is packed with the same internals as the iPhone 11: an A13 Bionic chip that runs on iOS. On April 8, Apple stopped signing iOS 15.4 after it released iOS 15.4.1 on March 30. The new 15.4.1 update did not roll out to the Studio Display, but the previous version (iOS 15.4) was no longer supported.

According to ArsTechnica, this was an issue for Studio Display owners who received the new device with firmware version 15.3 installed. "Connected Macs could see that the displays weren't running the latest firmware version, but Apple was no longer signing iOS 15.4, so the displays couldn't actually install the update once it was downloaded," ArsTechnica explained.

Apple Studio Display

Apple Studio Display (Image credit: Apple)

"I keep getting 'Apple Studio Display firmware update could not be completed. Try again in an hour. If the problem persists, contact an authorized Apple service provider.' How to fix this?" an Apple support forum poster asked on Friday. The thread filled up with Studio Display owners who suffered the same issue.

"I also get this for both my Studio Displays (connected to a Mac Studio)," a user with the moniker Todd Heberlein1 said. "Furthermore, the problem with the Studio Displays also prevented me from applying the latest macOS software update (12.3.1), which includes security fixes."

"Add me to the list," tdbrown75 said. "Tried from two Macs (M1 Air and M1 Max Pro)."

Apple Studio Display

Apple Studio Display (Image credit: Apple)

Fortunately, the Studio Display wasn't out in the cold for too long. According to MacWorld, Apple fixed the issue on Sunday night by re-signing iOS 15.4, allowing the device's firmware to be updated.

Users can now download iOS 15.4 on their display. To update the firmware, you must have macOS 12.3.1 installed. Keep in mind, though, that the update doesn't patch an issue many Studio Display owners are complaining about: the unimpressive 12MP Center Stage camera.

Apple stated it would roll out an update to improve the webcam's image quality, but Studio Display owners have to wait just a little longer.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!