Samsung and LG Testing ‘Retina Display’ Production for iPad 3?

Posted In iPad - By Tariq On Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 With 0 Comments

Add some more fuel to the rumor filled fire for Apple adding a Retina display to the next iPad. The Korea Times reports that Apple has been working with display manufacturers Samsung and LG to produce a very high resolution display for the Cupertino company’s next tablet. The speculated resolution of this new display is 2048 x 1536, which is the current resolution of 1024 x 768 doubled in each dimension. This is the same resolution doubling (or quadrupling) we saw with the iPhone 4′s Retina display. A resolution this high would yield a pixel density of over 260 pixels/inch. At WWDC 2010, Steve Jobs had said that the iPhone 4′s display qualified as a ‘Retina display’ because it had a pixel density of over 300 pixels/inch, and at that level, individual pixels are indiscernible to the human eye. While 260 pixels/inch is lower than 300, this display could certainly qualify for the Retina moniker because the iPad is typically held further away from the user’s face than the much smaller screen from the iPhone.

Apple has started quality testing Samsung and LG’s LCDs at one of its laboratories in China. Samsung and LG were required to produce screens with better picture quality and density, according to sources, who anticipate the testing process will be completed during the third quarter.

“Apple’s upcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048×1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience,’’ said a source close to the talks.

[The Korea Times]

One thing I’ve always found puzzling is how developers will feel about creating apps for such a high resolution display. Sure, bigger is better, but how difficult will it be to create and design UIs for a display that is higher resolution than most of Apple’s notebook displays. On the low end MacBook, both MacBook Air models, and the 13″ MacBook Pro, the dimensions are less than 2048 x 1536 (they are 1280 x 800, 1367 x 768, and 1440 x 900). Even the 15″ MacBook Pro has a lower resolution, even after opting for the $150 option to add a higher resolution display of 1680 x 1050. Designing for a screen resolution so much greater than the one you are using can be a real pain. On the other hand, by doubling the resolution in each dimension, it makes things much easier for developers to upscale their graphics from the current resolution. This is the same reason Apple went with resolution doubling on the Retina display for the iPhone 4.

One interesting section of the article states:

The deal comes as Apple has been looking to reduce its dependence on Samsung to provide key components such as flash memory chips, processors and LCDs.

As long as their relationship together has been, this attempt to reduce dependence on Samsung is no doubt a product of the ongoing litigations regarding patent infringement of the iPhone/iOS platform between the two companies.

Whether we see this next iPad in the Fall, or next Spring is beyond me. Personally I don’t think it would make sense to introduce a new one so quickly, seeing as they only just got supply to meet demand for the iPad 2. Would they really want to put the stress on themselves for a second model to run alongside the iPad 2?

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>