Apple’s Retina Display: The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful

Apple has long been at the fore front of consumer aware innovation. That is to say that Apple makes products that buyers feel are technologically advanced. This is most evident in the iPad 3 and its retina display, which was unveiled with the iPod touch and phone. The display packs 326 pixels per square inch, which translates to a contrast ratio of 800:1. There’s dispute whether or not that this is the most pixels a human eye can handle, (hence, the name retina display) but with its LED ambient light sensitive backing; it’s pretty damn good. Because the screen adjusts to its surroundings, the iPad 3 will reduce eyestrain. That’s a huge boon to IT support Boston, Chicago, NYC, Washington etc. professionals who sometimes have to work on these things all day. A display that’s so crisp may be a game changer. At the very least, it proves that Apple has an impressive manufacturing network.

To date, Samsung makes all the 2048X1536 displays. LG and Sharp are also on deck to pick up any slack. Even though Sharp was rumored to have failed Apple’s inspection process, they are said to be very excited to put their eighth generation fabrication production facilities. They’ll all have to be burning the midnight oil. Analysts are estimating that Apple will ship out an upwards of 18.7 million units by the forth quarter. What does all this mean to you?

Well, if you want an iPad 3 you’ll have to spend somewhere between 499 and 829 dollars. That’s a pretty hefty price for more pixels than your eye can even see. The problems might not stop there. Apps will have to double in size to keep up with the display. That could cause a lot problems since Apple does not allow apps larger than 20 megabytes to be downloaded over 3G. It’ll still work over wi-fi and 4G, so it’ll be on your dime but not AT&T’s. Bigger apps will mean more throttling problems for data users. It’s becoming very clear that data usage and demand for bandwidth is outstripping our current infrastructure.

Overall, the iPad 3 will boast the best display in the retail arena. It’s quite the technological feat. However, Beta had a better display than VHS. Price is still a powerful limiting factor in deciding to make a purchase. It’ll be interesting if Apple’s brand loyalty can trump this. Judging by these pictures, probably.