With Apple's announcement of OS X Mavericks came a brand new shiny desktop background featuring a glistening wave, downloadable from the Apple website. The most intriguing thing about the new wallpaper, though, is the resolution, which could indicate a coming upgrade to Apple's desktop displays.
The Mavericks hero shot is 5160 x 2880, twice the resolution of Apple's largest display, the 27" cinema display at 2560 x 1440. As you know, when Apple makes a product "retina", it simply doubles the resolution and shrinks it down to fit the screen size, and scales the OS to match. It's an elegant solution to making high res displays usable. This wallpaper showing up in this form could mean that Apple will soon introduce a new display that matches that higher resolution. Just remember, OS X's icons were high res for a long time before any bump to resolution happened with the retina MBP, so nothing is necessarily imminent.
The move would make sense, though. Not only have all of Apple's displays been making the switch to retina level pixel densities over the past few years, but with a resolution of 5160 x 2880, the new displays would more than accomodate the kind of 4K movie (remember, unlike 1080p, 4K refers to the horizontal dimension) that is starting to replace standard HD video.
Even Apple's redesigned Mac Pro touted the ability to output to 3 4K displays. It would make sense that Apple wants to be the ones supplying such hardware.
While the Mavericks wallpaper is far from proof that new displays are imminent, it seems like an inevitability that Apple ups the ante on their desktop screens. Resolutions up to and exceeding the 4K standard are sweeping in, and Apple will want to stay ahead of the curve. [NoFilmSchool via Apple Insider]