Apple's Thunderbolt display released in 2011 is seeing stock shortages at several major retailers, which may signal an upcoming refresh of the hardware.

Amazon, MacMall, and J&R are among the retailers who are out of the 27-inch display, first noticed by AppleInsider. In the past, retailers selling out of an Apple item have been a signal of an upcoming refresh, which we saw happen last year with the third-generation Apple TV.

The believed design for the new Thunderbolt display would be that of the just released 27-inch iMac.

As we noted in our review, the new iMac features a 5mm thick edge that becomes gradually more bulbous as it gets towards the centre of the casing. Facetime HD, USB 3.0, and an update to Apple'sMagSafe connector are also thought to be included.

Apple delayed the release of the 27-inch iMac due to new lamination procedures that caused delays in initial manufacturing.

Presumably, the folks in Cupertino would wait for production restraints of the 27-inch iMac to be ironed out before a new Thunderbolt display ships.

What do you think of a new display from Apple? Worth pairing with a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?