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Old Nov 3, 2012, 01:32 PM   #26
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I totally agree with you that in terms of design, Apple is the great innovator in this industry; it has, indeed, taken the design of both hardware and software into another level. I absolutely know the importance of design, not only in aesthetical terms, but especially in terms of making products more useful. And I have to agree that this approach made Apple release great consumer products and made it the biggest company in the world in terms of market cap.

Now, you have to agree that higher resolution displays are a matter of engineering. The industry itself was leaning towards it anyway. But, in terms of design, Apple did a brilliant job by managing to put a high resolution display in such a thin and light laptop (in terms of hardware) and in introducing a good scaling approach in OS X (in terms of software). And the marketing was good too, as the general public became aware of what a "retina display" means.
Now we're getting somewhere; agreements.

Yes, high-res displays were a long time coming. These high-res displays have been prototyped for a while now, but Apple took the initiative and pushed it to the mass market first, in which they already had a massive control in (thus allowing the adoption to be much quicker.) While other companies have been sitting and reaping rewards from older technologies and not taking the initiative.

Apple has made it clear that what matters more is user experience and not the fastest/most features available on a device, but obviously they're always ahead of the pack (in terms of speed and features) when it comes to releasing a new iOS device.

Glad we agree that we need more companies like Apple to push human communication more. I think education is probably one of the key areas that Apple needs to push more (along with other companies.)

There are millions of underprivileged and uneducated children (and adults) in the United States. The internet and a receiving device (such as an iPad) should be available to every household.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 02:38 PM   #27
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Now we're getting somewhere; agreements.
That's great!

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Yes, high-res displays were a long time coming. These high-res displays have been prototyped for a while now, but Apple took the initiative and pushed it to the mass market first, in which they already had a massive control in (thus allowing the adoption to be much quicker.) While other companies have been sitting and reaping rewards from older technologies and not taking the initiative.
I guess there were some factors that helped this:

(i) Intel HD 4000 was able to handle these high resolution displays much better than HD 3000, and they were only available with the release of Ivy Bridge, during the first half of 2012. Although manufacturers could have taken advantage of existing NVIDIA and AMD mobile video cards, they were driven mostly towards gaming laptops.

(ii) Windows 8 is more capable of handling high resolution displays better than Windows 7, and it only became available in late October. As Apple produces its own operating system, it was able to implement retina scaling when it chose to. So, when the 15" rMBP was released in June 2012, OS X was ready to handle these high resolutions, while Windows was not so much.

(iii) Apple has a long commitment of delivering great displays and probably wanted to be the first one to deliver retina displays on laptops. So, it probably paid the price for being the first manufacturer to have access to the mass-produced high resolution displays. As it has a tight control on several manufacturer chains, it was probably not very hard to achieve.

I guess high resolution displays were coming with Haswell in 2013 anyway. Apple, however, pushed the manufacturers to deliver these displays as of 2012 (perhaps this explains the supply issues) in order to rush with retina MacBook Pros before anybody else could release similar products.

If you look, it's being more than four months now that the 15" rMBP was released, and no other company was able to match it yet.

At least two other companies have the technology of mass-producing laptops with retina displays - Samsung and LG, as they are the two suppliers of these displays for the MBPs. However, for some reason, they have not yet released their high resolution laptops - although Samsung already showed a prototype of a Series 9 laptop running at 2560x1440 and LG released an Android tablet with a 2560x1600 display last week. I wonder why a Windows laptop is taking so long.

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Apple has made it clear that what matters more is user experience and not the fastest/most features available on a device, but obviously they're always ahead of the pack (in terms of speed and features) when it comes to releasing a new iOS device.
Yes, and that reflects the point of view of a designer rather of the one of an engineer.

However, I see that some iOS devices lack features found in Android devices, such as NFC. In terms of speed, the iOS devices may not have the fastest processors - it's hard to know because Apple is not releasing the specs anymore. However, iOS devices feel faster, probably because of the OS itself (and not due to the raw processing power).

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Glad we agree that we need more companies like Apple to push human communication more. I think education is probably one of the key areas that Apple needs to push more (along with other companies.)

There are millions of underprivileged and uneducated children (and adults) in the United States. The internet and a receiving device (such as an iPad) should be available to every household.
Yes, that's for sure! In Brazil (where I live), as you could imagine, there are even more unprivileged children than in the US, and that could take advantage of these products. The iPad could be a great device for such, although I see at least two problems with it. First, even the iPad mini is a very expensive device for the standards of poor Brazilian children - I'm not saying that Apple should save the world, but the fact is that Apple's devices are not for everyone. Second, although iOS devices are great, I can see that the most popular apps are driven towards gaming and entertainment, and not education and productivity (Steve Ballmer has a point when he called Apple's devices iToys).
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 04:08 PM   #28
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I dont see retina as going mainstream any time soon. windows venders are pushing for cheaper machines. even if your laptop could cook your dinner for you this feature doesnt matter if its not affordable. I think eventually you will see retina as mainstream but not until its cheaper.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 04:50 PM   #29
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I dont see retina as going mainstream any time soon. windows venders are pushing for cheaper machines. even if your laptop could cook your dinner for you this feature doesnt matter if its not affordable. I think eventually you will see retina as mainstream but not until its cheaper.
Well, it's not becoming mainstream any time soon. But it has to become available first, and it will be a feature of premium laptops. Then, in some years, it will probably make way into the mainstream and budget laptops.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 12:44 PM   #30
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I dont see retina as going mainstream any time soon. windows venders are pushing for cheaper machines. even if your laptop could cook your dinner for you this feature doesnt matter if its not affordable. I think eventually you will see retina as mainstream but not until its cheaper.
It's pretty mainstream right now. Apple is mainstream.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 02:15 PM   #31
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It's pretty mainstream right now. Apple is mainstream.
Yes, but I suppose he meant the best-selling laptops. Although Apple is mainstream, the best-selling Apple laptops are still probably the non-retina MBAs and MBPs.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 02:38 PM   #32
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Yes, but I suppose he meant the best-selling laptops. Although Apple is mainstream, the best-selling Apple laptops are still probably the non-retina MBAs and MBPs.
Sure, those $300 laptops. But they don't make as much money for companies as do more expensive laptops (higher profit margin).
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:11 PM   #33
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Sure, those $300 laptops. But they don't make as much money for companies as do more expensive laptops (higher profit margin).
Well, perhaps the Chromebook is not getting a high resolution display soon anyway. But still, the cheapest notebooks to feature a retina display costs US$ 1,699.00, and that's a lot of money for the average buyer...
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:18 PM   #34
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Yes, but I suppose he meant the best-selling laptops. Although Apple is mainstream, the best-selling Apple laptops are still probably the non-retina MBAs and MBPs.
True. however, I don't think low end laptops are going to last in the industry for that long. Things are moving.

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Well, perhaps the Chromebook is not getting a high resolution display soon anyway. But still, the cheapest notebooks to feature a retina display costs US$ 1,699.00, and that's a lot of money for the average buyer...
Don't think Chromebook is going to be a big seller. It's just another netbook.

People can just buy a refurb 3rd Gen iPad for $379.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:42 PM   #35
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True. however, I don't think low end laptops are going to last in the industry for that long. Things are moving.
That's hard to guess. I guess they will definitely last in the industry.

I live in Brazil and a base 13" rMBP here costs US$ 3,500, which is way more than an average buyer can afford. As people are looking towards a price point lower than US$ 1,000, low-end laptops are assured a long life here. And probably in other markets too.

And I've been to the US last week and I was seriously disappointed with the laptop offerings I saw there; apart from Macs, a few Sony Vaios and the Acer Aspire S7, all of them were crap low-end offerings.

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Don't think Chromebook is going to be a big seller. It's just another netbook.

People can just buy a refurb 3rd Gen iPad for $379.
Well, I don't know if it's going to be a good seller in the long term, but it is doing quite well, actually, at least for now. It's currently the #1 best-selling laptop at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-E...nav_e_2_541966.

The Chromebook and the iPad are completely different beasts, I don't know if they would compete with each other.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:57 PM   #36
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Well, actually I think that Apple simply got there first than the other companies, and not that it started the trend.

In September 2011, before Apple unveiled its "retina" iPads and Macs, Intel announced, at the Intel Developer Forum, that Ivy Bridge would support up to 4096x4096 resolutions. See here: http://vr-zone.com/articles/post-idf...ys-/13584.html

On March 22, about three months before the rMBP was released, and just days after the new iPad was unveiled, a blog post from a Microsoft programmer detailed how Windows 8 would handle higher resolution displays.

The full blog post is here: http://www.mobilemag.com/2012/03/22/...tyle-displays/

In the post, the developer cited that Microsoft expected 10.1" and 11.6" devices to support 2560x1440 resolutions. Look at this picture:

Image

On April 11, two months before the rMBP was released, Intel announced, at the Intel Developer Forum, that Ivy Bridge processors would be able to drive retina resolutions. Intel VP was not talking about PCs or Macs, he was talking about the capabilities of the Ivy Bridge integrated GPU.

The full video is available here: http://intelstudios.edgesuite.net/id...s-en/main.htm#

According to this, Intel would expect 10" tablets with 2460x1440 resolutions; 11" and 13" ultrabooks with 2560x1440 and 2800x1800 resolutions, respectively; and 15" and 21" screens with 3840x2160 resolutions. Look at this picture:

Image

Of course, these "retina-like" resolutions were being talked about in the backstage of computing industry much earlier before this information got released to the public. There should have been some coordinated effort of Microsoft, Intel and somebody else to drive these retina-like resolutions.

Again, Apple was also working on retina iPads and Macs much before they were released. So, I wouldn't dare to say who's copying who here.

It's hard to say that Apple is pushing retina displays and that everybody else is copying it. I guess the truth is that these ultra-high resolution displays are the next industry standard, that has been researched and talked about in backstages for years, and that Apple simply got there before for some reason related to its leadership in innovating or to its sheer size (it may have developed/bought some patents that allowed the technology to be mass-produced first, for instance).

But, with or without Apple, it seems like that laptops displays would get "retina" resolutions anyway. In what appears to be totally unrelated to computer displays, the first Ultra HD Televisions are beginning to appear on the market. These displays, capable of 4K and even 8K resolutions, have been talked about at least since 2005 or 2006 (http://www.neoseeker.com/news/6126-b...-hello-2160pr/). It's not Apple, it's the industry as a whole that is moving forward.
Honestly, I think it's ultimately Apple's doing that we're finally starting to see high resolution displays.

Particularly, I think it's the introduction of the iPhone 4 that made it possible. That display finally got the average consumer to consider resolution.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:03 PM   #37
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Honestly, I think it's ultimately Apple's doing that we're finally starting to see high resolution displays.

Particularly, I think it's the introduction of the iPhone 4 that made it possible. That display finally got the average consumer to consider resolution.
No. In fact, the blu-ray and the Full HD TVs were the main factors that made average consumers pay attention to screen quality and resolution, much before the release of the iPhone 4.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:37 PM   #38
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"Retina" for Laptops/PCs are a long time coming. Apple is the only manufacturer in the world who could marry the Software and Hardware well at this time. They push the envelope and for that it does cost a lot to start. However, like the Macbook Air before, it could go down in price in the same manner. How much was a fully spec'd MBA at introduction? $3K+
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:49 PM   #39
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The 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display, featuring a resolution of 2560x1600, was released on October 23. The Samsung/Google Nexus 10, with a screen resolution of 2560x1600, was unveiled on October 29, just six days later.

Would it be possible that Apple hurried to launch the 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display before Samsung/Google released their own devices, with the very same resolution? It makes me wonder...
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:29 PM   #40
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The 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display, featuring a resolution of 2560x1600, was released on October 23. The Samsung/Google Nexus 10, with a screen resolution of 2560x1600, was unveiled on October 29, just six days later.

Would it be possible that Apple hurried to launch the 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display before Samsung/Google released their own devices, with the very same resolution? It makes me wonder...
Why would this be an issue? Apple had several high resolution devices, including the rMBP 15" well before the Nexus 10 was released. That would be a pretty arbitrary "race".
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:50 PM   #41
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Why would this be an issue? Apple had several high resolution devices, including the rMBP 15" well before the Nexus 10 was released. That would be a pretty arbitrary "race".
I know that. But it sounds strange that Apple released its laptop just a week before Samsung/Google released theirs. It may be just a coincidence, though, albeit a strange one.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 03:32 PM   #42
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The 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display, featuring a resolution of 2560x1600, was released on October 23. The Samsung/Google Nexus 10, with a screen resolution of 2560x1600, was unveiled on October 29, just six days later.

Would it be possible that Apple hurried to launch the 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display before Samsung/Google released their own devices, with the very same resolution? It makes me wonder...
I think it is rather likely that Samsung etc. were directly encouraged by Apple to develop the HiDPI display panel technology, similar to how Apple has been influencing Intel's roadmap, read for example http://tinyurl.com/7cxh4mx and http://tinyurl.com/bzn92kq

I honestly don't think that we would have HiDPI displays now if it was not for Apple - because outside of Apple's work there has been not that much push for resolution independence. HiDPI displays are per se a 'bad', risky investment - because they don't bring a clear, definite advantage to the table as opposed to investing in faster CPUs/GPUs/storage. Quite in contrary, HiDPI requires new software, more computational resources and it is heavy on the battery (not to mention expensive). However, Apple is a company based on strong ideology of 'changing the world' while making big money, so they take their chances with stuff like that ^^ Apple is in that unique position that if they decide 'the future computer must be this and this' they could actually make that fly (not always, but often). Look at what they have done to the smartphone and tablet markets.

As to the release dates of rMBP 13", Nexus 10 - it can be a coincidence or not... I have no speculation on that regard.

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:11 PM   #43
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No. In fact, the blu-ray and the Full HD TVs were the main factors that made average consumers pay attention to screen quality and resolution, much before the release of the iPhone 4.
Not really. All people knew was "Full HD" - which lead to an influx of 1920x1080 displays in the market. Technically inferior to the 1920x1200 and 2560x1440/1600 displays that were on the market. The fact that "Full HD" meant very little to computer displays was lost on many consumers. Most people were also settling for TN displays. No one considered pixel density - look at how popular things like 27" and 32" 1080p displays became.

Apple got people paying attention to pixel density (sharpness of text was a big factor), and also popularized IPS displays (which were starting to get increasingly difficult to purchase).
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:37 PM   #44
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Not really. All people knew was "Full HD" - which lead to an influx of 1920x1080 displays in the market. Technically inferior to the 1920x1200 and 2560x1440/1600 displays that were on the market. The fact that "Full HD" meant very little to computer displays was lost on many consumers. Most people were also settling for TN displays. No one considered pixel density - look at how popular things like 27" and 32" 1080p displays became.

Apple got people paying attention to pixel density (sharpness of text was a big factor), and also popularized IPS displays (which were starting to get increasingly difficult to purchase).
People associated the term "FullHD" with high resolution and high quality. In the case of the iPhone 4, they also associated the term "Retina" to high resolution and quality, in a very similar manner. Most consumers don't even know what pixel density or an IPS display mean; but they can perceive the difference in the quality of screens.
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