CNET: Retina-Level Macbook Displays Already In Production, Will Come At Increased Production Cost

Posted in Apple News, Mac on 17/05/2012 by Henry Taylor-Gill


The hype surrounding next-generation Macs is building up to a crescendo, with USB 3.o, ultra thin form factors and Retina displays the order of the menu. While that last one might seem the most appealing, it could come at a high production cost, with potentially as much as $100 more being added on, CNET reports.

As with the iPhone and the iPad, the Retina display would make photos and applications sharper and more vivid, and NPD DisplaySearch Senior Analyst Richard Shim has also revealed that many 13.3 inch and 15.4 inch displays that fit the bill are already available from suppliers.

“We’re seeing it at 15.4 (inches),” Shim said in an interview yesterday. “You can get it.”

The specs for those potential screens would be as follows:

  • 15.4-inch: 2,880 by 1,800 resolution. That’s 220 pixels per inch (PPI). By comparison, the current 15.4-inch MacBook Pro has a 1,440 by 900 pixel display and a PPI of 110.
  • 13.3-inch: 2,560 by 1,600 resolution with a PPI of 227. By comparison, the current 13.3-inch MacBook Air is 1,440 by 900 pixels, and has PPI of 127.

It is not clear whether users would see a difference in price for the higher resolution though, even though Apple already offers a resolution upgrade for the 15 inch Macbook Pro, which will take you from a 1440 by 900 pixel display to one that’s 1,680 by 1,050 pixels, at a price tag of $100.

The switch to a Retina display on the iPad didn’t affect the price tag, but with the increased screen size of a Macbook, it might be different in this case. We could see the consumer price rise because of Apple wanting to keep their profit margin, or it could stabilize the price but take a hit on profit.

Lastly, we have to factor in IGZO technology, not widely available at the release of the new iPad. Sharp’s new innovation uses smaller transistors and circuit elements to allow more light through, creating a much thinner and more efficient display, something very useful in a notebook. Now in mass production, it could feature on upcoming MacBooks replacing the silicon technology used in the iPad and the iPhone.


Henry Taylor-Gill

Henry is a student who is a huge Apple fan, and has used their products since day one. He can remember how happy he was when he received the first iPod back in 2001 as a birthday present. He has an international background, having spent most of his life in France but he now lives in the UK. He is also a native French speaker and can also speak Spanish at a decent level. In addition to tech, Henry is an avid sports fan and has his own sports blog.