The Great Steve Jobs Head Fake, Round Two

Discussion in 'iPad' started by vrDrew, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    In April of 2010 Steve Jobs issued his famous Thoughts On Flash. Effectively daring Apple's would-be competitors to try and put out a tablet than ran Flash. The fact that more than a year later there still isn't a succesful competitor that runs Flash very well, marketing campaings notwithstanding, ought to make people in the computer biz think very carefully about trying to outsmart Apple.

    Which makes me wonder about the rumors surrounding "Retina" displays on an upcoming iPad. Could this be part of an Apple scheme to trick their competitors into squandering engineering resources and management attention on a product whose release is most likely years, rather than months, away?

    What actual evidence do we have for a "Retina" class display on an iPad 3? Answer: Some large images discovered in the Twitter framework of the iOS 5 SDK, and some rumors from dodgy Asian suppliers-to-suppliers.

    Its certainly possible that Apple screwed up, and that these big images got left in the SDK by mistake. But then again, Apple has been waging an ongoing battle with leaks, blogs, and rumor mills for a decade or more. And they have to know by now how each SDK release is going to be examined with a fine-tooth comb searching for hints about upcoming features.

    Wouldn't it be the easiest thing in the world for someone to quietly tell the people putting the SDK together to include a couple of oversized images, simply to sow panic and confusion amongpotential Apple rivals?

    Because if Apple's competitors become convinced that a "Retina" class iPad is coming out this fall or next spring, then they'll also think they'll be doomed if they start building Tablets that merely "match" the iPad's specs. And so they'll delay development of anything with resolution in the 768 x 1024 class, while their purchasing people go scurrying all over the Pacific rim looking for a supplier of 2048x1536 panels. Their engineers will look for ways of making the display chips and battery supplies handle that extra burden.

    I think it likely that, at some point, we'll see a higher resolution iPad display. But in the meantime its important to keep ONE number in mind: $500

    Because if a Retina-class display takes the retail price of the entry-level iPad up to $600 or so, it won't happen. At a starting price of $600 and up, the iPad moves into a whole new consumer category. And it also would leave competitors, who are currently selling capable tablets at the $500 price point, room to undercut Apple. Most consumers would be hard-pressed to actually see a noticeable difference between a 768 x 1024 and a Retina panel.

    Apple certainly isn't in a hurry to give their competitors any advantages.
     
  2. henchman macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I have had flash running successfully on various android phones that I have owned.
     
  3. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #3
    Well thought out, thanks for your ideas. I suspect the next big play Apple makes is not iPad 3. Imo the next BIG play is a pure iTouch 17" tablet that runs Lion with 2048x1536 native resolultion. Breaking the $500 barrier easily. Accompanying this new gadget will be the iSwipe, as in Steve swipes all the money in my wallet. Flash sucks.:p
     
  4. interwebs macrumors member

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  5. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #5
    Just to run flash videos or other content?

    Because aside from running flash video, I haven't seen a tablet that runs other content well. Primarily because there is no cursor to interact with the flash content. Most flash sites/content I see online heavily rely on rollovers. And even if there was a cursor on these devices, there are still lag problems, and slow loading.
     
  6. henchman, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

    henchman macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Most sites I have been to, in fact not rely on mouse overs and work fine.
    Whereas EVERY flash site I goto on my iPad does not show anything at all.
     
  7. LoganT macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Oh, you'd notice a difference.
     
  8. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #8
    I'm curious and have another question for you. The flash sites you visit on your phone, is it because you enjoy those sites, or is it because those sites don't have any other alternatives?

    I'm just asking because I don't really visit any flash sites on a regular basis, and wonder what people are bummed about missing out on when they don't have flash on their device.
     
  9. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I'll happily use a retina display iPad when the technology is available and it doesn't increase the cost of the iPad. I won't pay extra to use it. The iPad already has a nice screen.

    And why are you talking about Flash? It's a crappy, antique, dead technology.
     
  10. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #10
    It may indeed be, but over a year later there's still many web sites that use it.
    Some seem to have no intention of changing.

    I don't know why they are not changing. It's as if they are just waiting it out or something?
     
  11. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #11
    My mama always told me, "if everybody else was jumping off a cliff, does that mean you should jump off too?";)
     
  12. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I agree with you on a lot of your points, but not this one. The difference is massive, there's no way anyone wouldn't notice it. I've never seen a digital display like the iPhone 4's retina display.
     
  13. aleni macrumors 68020

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    #13
    +1.

    it's easy to notice the difference. especially since u have been using an iPhone 4 for a year and it's even easier to notice if u're reading websites in portrait mode.

    it's a dream to use iPad with retina display in portrait mode with the splitted up keyboard.

    ummm im salivating now..
     
  14. gatearray macrumors 65816

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    #14
    True, true. But the real question from a successful business' point of view would be, will the lack of a "retina display" hurt sales now or in the coming year? The answer of course is no, absolutely not.

    I also think they could keep the same res for iPad 3 and start optically laminating the iPad's display like they do on the 4 and it would be a noticeable and welcome improvement, too.

    Remember, for people without an iPhone 4, the iPad will most likely be the sharpest display they own, it's PPI is identical to the 17" MacBook Pro, and vastly superior to the HD televisions most people have.
     
  15. GeneKam macrumors regular

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    #15
    Flash is very much irrelevant today. I had a playbook, which I returned for an iPad 2. It really brought nothing extra to the web. It was actually an awful experience. I am personally not just against flash, but flash on mobile.
     
  16. dulaney22 macrumors regular

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  17. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I think that, considering no one has ever actually seen 326 ppi display density on a 9.7" screen (at least outside of laboratories), its difficult to make that assertion. People notice the difference on an iPhone because one typically holds the phone a lot closer to one's eyes than would a device the size of the iPad.

    It may very well be possible to manufacture 9.7" displays with a 326 ppi density. Being able to manufacture them in mass quantity, and at a cost comparable to what Apple is paying now for the iPad 2's 1024 x 768 panels is another thing entirely.

    Its also another thing entirely to do so without severely taxing the device's hardware: Apple's latest graphics processors have made great progress. But it strikes me as unlikely that progress in the next twelve months will be enough to move four times as many pixels at the same speed. Ditto for the demands such a high density would place on power consumption.

    There's also the little matter of bandwidth and content: Simply put, there is no easy way of getting video content that could take advantage of such high pixel density into the iPad. YouTube videos aren't likely to show up any sharper. Neither Netflix nor iTunes content going to stream at double the density. Getting games to display at a higher resolution is possible - but it also would also introduce a whole new set of challenges for the graphic processor - to say nothing of the challenges for developers. Text and photos might appear a little sharper, but has anyone really felt that the iPad's screen is lacking in that regard?

    A hint as to Steve Jobs thoughts about super-high resolution may be found in his comments regarding Blu-Ray on the Mac: If he doesn't see a need for super-high resolution on a Mac (where battery life and power demands are of considerably less importance) - then it seems even less likely to find a place on a portable device like the iPad.

    Lastly: I hope I'm wrong. I would like to believe that Apple will somehow find a way to double the resolution on the iPad 3, without significantly raising the price of the device, or crippling its performance. But I think one needs to be realistic about what may be technically or economically feasible, at least in the near term.
     

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