Where did the Retina Display idea come from?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bniu, May 4, 2014.

  1. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Just years ago, I was pretty content with all my non-retina devices, and now today in 2014, I am the owner of a Retina MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone and I can't even look at non-retina devices anymore :D

    So, I'm wondering, what was the inspiration for the Retina displays and why did it take until 2010 for them to become a reality?
     
  2. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #2
    Inspiration? Something to have over competitors.

    "Retina Display?" Good marketing to convince the public they had something more than just a high res display.

    Why 2010? Technological feasibility and product pacing.
     
  3. pmau macrumors 65816

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    Think about the memory bandwidth needed to drive the resolution.
    The displays could probably be manufactured quite easily, but recall the DUAL DVI connectors were needed to drive >1680 resolution which is not that long ago.

    Also, the idea to keep the "low" logical resolution and have "retina pixels" between the logical ones would have been thought of as "wasted" a few years back.

    Also GPU memory has increased so much. Your 1GB graphics card with four times the memory of a high-end pc a few years back.

    You probably grew up with computers >4GB memory, but I bought 700MB hard drives for loads of money.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    It was probably a person at Apple getting eye discomfort from using the iPhone's screen for so long and wanting to make it more like printed text. Very high resolution screens aren't that new. CRTs have been able to go to widely high resolutions for decades, LCDs for at least 10 years. It was only more recently that mobile devices could do it due to higher power draw, lighting requirements, and GPU limitations.
     
  5. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    The idea was centred around:

    1. A need for iPhone to get a significant resolution increase (technological progress and competitive pressure)
    2. Easy transition to a higher resolution for developers, and good backwards compatibility (exactly double the resolution in both dimensions)

    The same principle has, of course, been extended to Apple's other devices. By exactly doubling the resolution in both dimensions, the transition is made easier for devs and it also keeps perfect backwards compatibility, since non-optimised apps appear at the same size and detail as they did before.
     
  6. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

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    The fact of the matter is that they already existed at the time. There actually when several phone on the market with equal pixel density and even higher density.
     
  7. ionjohn macrumors 65816

    ionjohn

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    #7
    Please, do name a few.
     
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    geniuses, it has made people believe the word "retina" means it is the best for the eye, even if competitors of apple have phones with much higher pixel density.
     
  9. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    My first computer ran windows 2000 and had like 512 MB RAM. Simple times...

    Now 8GB doesn't even suffice.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G3

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    Where did the Retina Display idea come from?

    I believe the inspiration was pretty much non existent. It's just the natural evolution of tech. When Apple was cost effectively capable of putting a higher resolution display into the iPhone they did. Just as televisions and computer monitors before it.

    Prior iPhones had a fairly bad screen vs the competition at the time so the iPhone was due for an upgrade. So they did it. As all competing devices they will leap frog each other.

    Retina is just a catchy marketing term. They'll eventually make a retina 2 or something and convince everyone it's the next best thing.
     
  11. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

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    #11
    Retina Display is basically HD. That's all it is.
     
  12. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #12
    The current displays aren't even HD.
     
  13. cynics macrumors G3

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    Technically you are correct but on a mobile device screen size has a lot to do with that, and the iPhone has a relatively small screen. Simply increasing size without PPI could get it there.
     
  14. ionjohn macrumors 65816

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    That's because you think 720p is hd but on a tv that's like less than 100ppi and on iphones it's +300
     
  15. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    Completely agree, however, "HD" content has at least a resolution of "720p" which is most likely how the public perceives "HD".

    As good as the display is, it isn't the public's definition of "HD". The public won't appreciate that it has 2-4 time the PPI of their television. :/
     
  16. Tubamajuba macrumors 68000

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    I love the self-righteous attitude in here towards the phrase "Retina Display". Of course it's a marketing term, but the fact of the matter is, no widely available cell phone had a display that matched that of the iPhone 4 at the time it was launched. 800x480 was the highest resolution available, and though that was vastly better than the 480x320 display of the first three iPhone models, nothing held a candle to the iPhone 4's IPS display.

    Since then, Apple has been surpassed by HTC and LG in the display quality department, and by most everybody in the screen size department (if screen size is something you care about).
     
  17. chabig macrumors 68040

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    The inspirations were laser printing and desktop publishing. Early laser printers were 300dpi. People wanted the same on their displays.
     
  18. cynics macrumors G3

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    720 is HD because it's 720. Content has to be downsampled for a lower resolution.

    That's why I mentioned screen size in my post, albeit not that you were quoting it.

    Holding an iPhone far enough from your face can make it look as good and sometimes better then a TV displaying 1080p.

    Regardless though it's not true HD if it can't be natively shown as HD.

    Notice how competitors have incredibly high PPI displays. HTC M8 and Galaxy S5 for example. The PPI seems over the top but the resolution works out to 1080 (if I'm remembering correctly). So it's not like a number was just picked out of the air.
     
  19. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    The (general) "public" largely doesn't know or care about the numbers or anything like that, it's just how "nice" something looks really. So to them HD and retina and all that are just terms that mean things look more detailed and nicer.
     
  20. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #20
    I think it comes down to non retina looked like crap and they disided to fix it:D
     
  21. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #21
    Say what now?
     
  22. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

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    When graphics are prepared for print, like magazines, they historically are built at 300 dpi, the threshold for the eye to not be able to make out the dots of ink or pixels of the image. This was the same threshold apple used to market retina, with the goal being the same. Printers themselves may print higher than 300dpi today, but the practice still holds for preparing the assets for print.
     

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