By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2013
Three and a half years ago, Apple released the iPhone 4 which introduced the world to the then-new Retina display.
In Apple’s parlance, Retina is basically a cleverly-coined marketing moniker which stands for a screen with pixels so densely packed that the average eyesight (20/20 vision) is unable to discern the individual ones at normal distance.
Apple has since Retina-fied its iOS device lineup, including some Mac notebooks. With the exception of the MacBook Air which stayed at 1,366-by-768 and 1,440-by-900 pixels for 11 and 13-inch models, respectively, we’ve been kinda keeping our fingers crossed for a Retina iMac this Fall.
Apple instead gave us a radically different Mac Pro as its first desktop so powerful it’s capable of driving three 4K displays simultaneously.
One would also expect Apple would by now have released a Retina Thunderbolt Display because the product’s been unchanged for almost two years. Instead, the firm opted for the waiting tactics until Retina-grade desktop screens become available at consumer prices.
That day is now looming as Dell on Monday released two 4K desktop monitors starting at just 50 percent more than the $899 Apple Thunderbolt Display. Just a year ago, you couldn’t find a decent 4K monitor under $5,000. But Dell’s only warming up: by early-2014, the computer maker plans to release a 28-inch 4K monitor priced at under $1000… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 18, 2013
As you’ll hear me recount on the upcoming episode of Let’s Talk iOS, I had to go through quite a lot to get my hands on the iPad mini with Retina display that I desired. The model, a Space Grey 32GB Cellular version with a bundled T-Mobile sim, proved to be a pretty tough get.
But I finally did get my iPad mini, and I’ve been able to spend the last few days truly analyzing the device, and analyzing whether or not the time I invested into acquiring it was worth the hassle.
You’ve likely read plenty of other reviews that pretty much spout off the same thing. Yes, the mini now has an awesome screen, has the same guts as the iPad Air, and it did so by compromising some of its thinness. So what’s the end result? Is this a good product? Will it go down as the best iPad ever? I share my thoughts inside. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2013
An unknown portion of the first batch of Retina iPad minis coming out of assembly line is apparently plagued with the screen retention problem, reports from disgruntled users claim. Every Apple product launch is marred with teething issues, though this one is more than skin-deep. As we reported, Korea’s ETNews blamed the issues last week on production woes with Sharp-made IGZO Retina panels.
Manufacturing issues have apparently prompted Apple to negotiate with Samsung Display for the supply of 7.9-inch Retina screens starting next year, as Samsung’s display-making unit “was the first to solve the technological problem”. At the heart of the issue is malfunctioning of Sharp’s thin-film transistor screen technology… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013
Yesterday, I wondered on Twitter what was taking the repair magicians over at iFixit so long to do their ritual teardown of Apple’s stealthily-released iPad mini with Retina display. My prayers have been listened to as iFixit has torn apart the device, revealing its guts and components for the whole world to see. As you could imagine, they found an Apple-designed A7 chip inside, slightly underclocked versus the iPad Air.
On top of that, there are usual suspects in terms of wireless and supporting chips. As for the titular update to this iPad mini – the Retina display – the teardown analysis has identified an LG Display-supplied 7.9-inch in-plane switching LCD with a 2,048-by-1,536 screen resolution.
While the resolution is the same as the iPad 3/4/Air, the images are crisper at 326 pixels per inch (264 ppi on the iPad Air) due to a shrunken form factor, as noted MacStories editor Federico Viticci noted in his hands-on article.
Other tidbits follow… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2013
Samsung of South Korea may have gotten itself into hot water with Apple over patents and design issues, but its semiconductor unit continues to churn out unabated the Apple-designed engine which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. As for Retina screens, Apple originally sourced mobile displays from non-Samsung suppliers such as Sharp and LG Display.
Last we heard, recent yield and quality issues have reportedly prompted the iPhone maker to turn to its frenemy for help. Korea’s ETNews last Friday claimed Apple has asked Samsung for help as Sharp struggles to solve burn-in issues with IGZO panels for the iPad Air.
At the heart of the production issues is Japanese giant’s malfunctioning of the thin-film transistor display technology. Corroborating the report, a display research firm on Monday said Apple’s purchase of Samsung-made panels for the iPad is about to skyrocket in the fourth quarter… Read More
By Sébastien Page on Oct 22, 2013
Apple quickly unveiled the new iPad mini with Retina display today. The event felt like a non event as the company didn’t spend much time talking about the new device.
Prior to the announcement, I was worried that the mini, my iPad of choice, was going to get a weight and size increase, just like the iPad 3 got when it was updated with a Retina display. Turns out that my concern got confirmed as the Retina mini is indeed a tad bit bigger than its predecessor. Nothing dramatic, as you can see in the iPad mini with Retina display tech specs compared to the original iPad mini… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2013
Apple has long wanted to make a switch from the traditional LCD IPS display technology utilized on iOS devices to Sharp’s cutting-edge IGZO technology.
Unfortunately, Apple’s been unable to offer an IGZO iPhone because the struggling Japanese giant had been facing tremendous technical hurdles preventing mass production of these sophisticated panels.
According to the latest supply chain chatter, Sharp has now successfully commercialized production of IGZO panels for smartphones and will begin manufacturing them at its Kameyama Plant Number 2 before the end of 2013… Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 18, 2013
With Apple’s tablet event just a few days away, speculation continues to mount on what we may see unveiled on stage. A redesigned iPad 5 seems like a given, but there are still some unknowns regarding the new iPad mini.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is if the 7.9-inch slate will get the Retina treatment this time around. According to Peter Misek, the answer is yes. The analyst fully expects Apple to introduce a hi-res mini next week… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2013
In today’s roundup of the somewhat obvious Apple rumors, a new report has suggested that the upcoming iPad mini 2 will be a tad thicker than its predecessor, presumably in order to accommodate a bigger battery needed to drive Apple’s power-hungry Retina display. This is newsworthy as none of the leaks to date has pointed to added bulk.
The thicker iPad mini meme isn’t unexpected: watchful readers will remember that Apple’s third-generation iPad with Retina display turned out to be slightly thicker than the previous iPads, due to the larger battery inside… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2013
Say what you will, but Apple owns the most responsive mobile OS and has the smoothest multitouch implementation by leaps and bounds.
Unsurprisingly, the Retina display hardware is a major part of that accomplishment – and I’m not talking about pixel density or image quality.
No, the key contributing factor to the iPhone’s multitouch immediacy is the short response time of the device’s touch panel on the hardware level. In fact, Apple’s capacitive touchscreen implementation runs circles around competition, a recent barrage of tests have proven.
The iPhone 5′s four-inch Retina screen is significantly faster than any of its rivals – up to twice as fast as its nearest competitor. Jump past the fold for detailed findings… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2013
Apple may not be planning to release an iPad mini with Retina display alongside its next-gen iPad 5 next month, according to a new report, which claims that there’s little supply chain evidence suggesting otherwise.
The news comes from market research firm IHS iSuppi, who is reporting that while the iPad 5 looks to be on track for its expected October launch, manufacturing volumes for the Retina mini point toward a 2014 debut… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013
While it seems all but certain that Apple is going to launch a redesigned fifth gen iPad this fall, the fate of the iPad mini isn’t quite so clear. Reports thus far have been split between the tablet having and not having a Retina display.
Well this morning we’re adding another one to the ‘having’ pile. Well-known market research firm IHS iSuppli reports that the new mini will indeed have a high resolution screen, and that production volumes are on par with 2012… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 1, 2013
And the back and forth continues. Hot on the heels of a report this afternoon that iOS 7 contains references to an A6 iPad mini with a non-Retina display, comes a story from The Wall Street Journal that Apple has begun ordering hi-res screens from Samsung for the tablet.
Today’s clash is just the latest in a long line of conflicting reports regarding Apple’s next-gen 8-inch slate, which is set to debut this fall. Previous speculation has suggested that a Retina iPad mini would be nearly technically impossible, but tonight’s story says the contrary… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2013
Despite Google’s recently refreshed Nexus 7 now boasting a Retina-class 1,920-by-1,200 pixel resolution screen (check out Jeff’s awesome Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini video showdown), Apple’s seven-inch iPad mini by contrast remains stuck with the rather pedestrian 1,024-by-768 pixel screen.
And now, seemingly corroborating a flurry of rumors pointing to a Retina iPad mini upgrade in 2014, references a developer discovered in the iOS 7 SDK suggest Apple has been testing a new iPad mini with a faster A6 chip, but without a Retina display… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Google event which saw, among other goodies, introduction of the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet with an improved 1,920-by-1,200 screen, the Kindle maker Amazon is now said to be refreshing its Fire tablet family around higher-resolution displays, too.
And as Apple and its Asian suppliers scramble to solve manufacturing challenges that continue to plague a second-generation iPad mini, Amazon’s top-of-the-line Kindle reportedly features a significantly overhauled display that packs 30 percent more pixels than the Retina iPad, into a smaller 8.9-inch screen compared to Apple’s 9.7-inch device. Ouch! Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2013
Run for years by the then op-chief Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain has become the stuff of the legend. Would-be watchers naively believe deciphering Apple’s next move is as easy as keeping tabs on the chatter coming out of Asia’s supply chain. Tim Cook, of course, begs to differ: on one of conference calls, Apple’s boss cautioned investors against drawing conclusion from any one data point as the company’s supply chain is a very complex beast.
So here’s something for investors and fans to chew on: ET News reported Tuesday that Apple is considering tapping Samsung Display to produce low-power Retina screens for the upcoming second-generation iPad mini because AU Optronics (AUO) was unable to deliver. Samsung would presumably make the screens alongside LG Display, Sharp and perhaps Japan Display, according to a previous February 2013 report… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2013
We’ve already heard from multiple sources that Apple is still ‘adjusting’ new iPad mini, with alleged panel shortages pushing a Retina iPad mini 2 into 2014 and prompting Apple to ready a minor update this year until the Retina version with a faster chip is ready next year. A new report out this morning from Taiwan adds more color to these rumors.
For starters, the Retina iPad mini is said to be “almost bezel-free,” which will allow for a bigger viewing area.
A slightly updated model should be expected in the fourth quarter of this year and is said to be “lighter, thinner and equipped with improved specifications,” which probably includes a faster chip than the A5 package found inside the current iPad mini model… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2013
While supply chain sources appear to agree that a fifth-generation iPad is launching this Fall, pointing to Apple’s procurement of components ahead of trial production, there is no definite consensus on a successor to the 7.9-inch iPad mini.
A new report out from Taiwan on Friday asserted that Retina panel shortages may have forced Apple’s leadership to push back the device into early-2014.
Tim Cook & Co. have reportedly scrapped the original plan which called for launching the iPad mini 2 during the fourth quarter of 2013, in time for the holiday shopping season… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2013
Apple’s Retina display may still be the best mobile display on the market, but not so much anymore in terms of the sheer pixel count and clearness.
Case in point: Samsung’s five-inch Galaxy S4 with its full HD 1,920-by-1,080 resolution screen at a whopping 441 pixels per inch easily outperforms the iPhone 5′s four-inch 640-by-1,136 Retina display at 326 pixels per inch. Another example: HTC’s flagship One smartphone and its 468 pixels per inch display.
Now, a new rumor out of China alleges that Apple’s next iPhone will have an upgraded Retina display with twice as much pixels as the current-generation… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 16, 2013
While alleged iPhone 5S component leaks continue to surface, we’ve heard and seen little news lately regarding the next generation iPad mini. The highly anticipated refresh is expected to fix the most common complaint in the slate’s otherwise glowing reviews: the display.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen several reports claiming that Apple is going to be adding a Retina display to its popular 8-inch tablet this year. And we’ve got a new one today that corroborates that theory, claiming that the device is set to land in the third quarter… Read More