Why didn't Samsung and LG come out with a Retina display first?

Kendo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 4, 2011
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I am simply curious because Samsung and LG both make the panels for Apple products (not just iPad but iPhone and MacBook too). They must have read up on the specifications that Apple gave them considering they have to know exactly what they are going to be manufacturing for them. With this type of knowledge, why is it that Samsung didn't come out with a Galaxy Tab with a Retina display first?

The one thing about the Android competitors is that they seem to have no problem coming out with a new product every few months. Apple sticks to a somewhat yearly update cycle so if something doesn't make it into their product for the current generation, they basically have to wait a year. But Samsung seems to come out with a new product every month.

With Samsung and their 200 different phones, I wonder why they didn't rush out to get a Retina tablet first? Do you think companies simply like to wait for an Apple product to come out first so they can reverse engineer it?
 

zp3dd4

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2009
83
0
There is a lot more behind making a retina display tablet than just the display.

For example:
- is there sufficient CPU / GPU power available to drive the display?
- is the software compitable with the display?
- is the battery life sufficient to power the display?

Another key advantage is that apple has a stronger supply chain which means that they can deliver the display at a lower cost than either of those companies.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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Inside
There's likely some clause in the contract that prevents Samsung/LG from using Apple's tech, but instead forcing them to develop their own.
 

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
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Lincoln, England
There's likely some clause in the contract that prevents Samsung/LG from using Apple's tech, but instead forcing them to develop their own.
Of course, but apple can't patent a screen resolution. They can copyright the term "retina display" but not the resolution itself.
 

Kendo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 4, 2011
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601
There is a lot more behind making a retina display tablet than just the display.

For example:
- is there sufficient CPU / GPU power available to drive the display?
- is the software compitable with the display?
- is the battery life sufficient to power the display?

Another key advantage is that apple has a stronger supply chain which means that they can deliver the display at a lower cost than either of those companies.
Deliver the display at a lower cost than the company that makes the display themselves?

I get what you are saying. But if they have the ability to make a sophisticated electronic device (after all they make monitors, HDTVs, phones, and tablets), then all of your points would be a moot point considering they make these products for a living.

And I'm sure there is a clause where they can't use Apple's design, but one would think that since they are making a Retina display for Apple, they would have their own staff figure out a way to develop one for their own tablets.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
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...And I'm sure there is a clause where they can't use Apple's design, but one would think that since they are making a Retina display for Apple, they would have their own staff figure out a way to develop one for their own tablets.
Remember Samsung doesn't develop the OS. Google has to come along for this ride, and that takes a lot more effort.
 

whtrbt7

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2011
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Truth is they did.... Only problem is they sold it to Apple first for cash. Why try to sell your own branded units on credit if you can get cash for the screens today? So yeah, Samsung and LG produced the screens but Apple was willing to pay cash for the components so Apple of course gets the first tech.
 

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
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Lincoln, England
Deliver the display at a lower cost than the company that makes the display themselves?

I get what you are saying. But if they have the ability to make a sophisticated electronic device (after all they make monitors, HDTVs, phones, and tablets), then all of your points would be a moot point considering they make these products for a living.

And I'm sure there is a clause where they can't use Apple's design, but one would think that since they are making a Retina display for Apple, they would have their own staff figure out a way to develop one for their own tablets.
Samsung probably will come out with some kind of similar product with a high resolution display. The reason they didn't beat apple to it is because by the time apple actually puts an order in, the device is completely planned and ready to be built. At this point they would've spent god knows how long on r&d before actually ordering the components. Samsung would have diddly squat. They can't just magic a tablet out of thin air as soon as apple puts an order in!
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
65
Remember, Samsung is a huge company. The stuff we get in the US is a tiny fraction of the stuff they make.

There was a story a few years ago of a City Council hearing in San Francisco. One division of HP sent people to fight for the debated issue. Another division of HP sent people to fight against the issue. They asked "what the hell does HP want?" and couldn't get one answer. That's how these big (non Apple) companies operate.
 

Anlino

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2012
70
0
Also, a Retina screen is useless unless there is software to take advantage of it, and in order to release a tablet with a Retina display, HTC/Samsung/Motorola/whatever would need Google to optimize Android to that end. That includes changing a lot of stuff in the back end, scaling up the UI, enabling developers to submit high resolution apps to the store, etc. I can imagine that taking a lot of time to work out.
 

dmunz

macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2010
174
44
They are probably different division within the companies that compete on their own. It would not be out of the question for the pannel guys to try and sell them to the tablet guys who were outbid by Apple.

FWIW
DLM
 

smiddlehurst

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2007
1,226
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Deliver the display at a lower cost than the company that makes the display themselves?

I get what you are saying. But if they have the ability to make a sophisticated electronic device (after all they make monitors, HDTVs, phones, and tablets), then all of your points would be a moot point considering they make these products for a living.

And I'm sure there is a clause where they can't use Apple's design, but one would think that since they are making a Retina display for Apple, they would have their own staff figure out a way to develop one for their own tablets.
Weirdly, yes.

Something like the Retina iPad display needs a TON of money up-front to design the thing, set-up production, resolve issues etc. The first batch is likely to have poor yields and it can take a long time to get to a point where even a majority of panels are usable. Apple has the money to throw at production to get such panels into large scale production, very few other companies do and even then could only do it if they could guarantee to shift enough panels to turn a profit. Apple can dump $5 Billion in to get things going knowing that over the lifetime of the iPad they may use north of 100 Million panels.

The problem for Samsung, LG and the like is that Apple need so many panels that once they've invested the cash they also tie up all the production capacity. This has been a major problem in the smartphone space for some time now, the main reason you haven't seen a clone of the iPhone 4 display is, AFAIK, largely because no-one can churn out enough additional units over and above what Apple consume to serve another major product. That's why so many Android handsets use Super Amoled displays, different production line and they're available in bulk.

Forgive if the above isn't 100% accurate, long day and my brain isn't working well but should be close enough to get the point across.
 

linkgx1

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2011
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Because it wouldn't be retina in that case. IMO, Super Amoled Plus is superior. The issue is that Apple/fanboys will redefine what classifies as retina. I find it funny how people will deny some manf. the Retina title but will make excuses for Apple. I'm not starting a flame war, it just is what it is.
 

pmau

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2010
1,546
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I would speculate that producing a tablet and sell it for $700 are two different things. Maybe they were afraid that they could not sell it in large quantities.

Apple can sell anything, because they know a large user base is willing to update.

A $700 Android tablet might flop and is a risk to everyone who tries to sell one ...

But I have no idea really.
 

linkgx1

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2011
1,601
201
Also, Galaxy Note 10.1 is supposed to have Super AMOLED I believe but not sure what the ppi is.
 

DeathChill

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2005
1,653
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Because it wouldn't be retina in that case. IMO, Super Amoled Plus is superior. The issue is that Apple/fanboys will redefine what classifies as retina. I find it funny how people will deny some manf. the Retina title but will make excuses for Apple. I'm not starting a flame war, it just is what it is.
You sound bitter. What excuses does Apple need made for it? It has the highest resolution of any shipping mobile device ever. Why does it need any excuses?
 

bkitchen0406

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2012
99
0
I am not a troll, I am waiting for my iPad 3 to ship like many of you. Samsung has a tablet coming out with a higher resolution in a few months I have read, at the very least some time this year. Having said that it won't have the battery life of the iPad three, the software won't be even close to par among other things. Samsung keeps on trying to trump on certain specs, instead of paying attention to the details and the entire user experience that apple does.

If you want to talk about phones the Samsung Galaxy 3 will be out in April and its specs will blow away the iPhone 4S, and the Galaxy will completely suck in battery life, fit and finish, and software.
 

linkgx1

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2011
1,601
201
You sound bitter. What excuses does Apple need made for it? It has the highest resolution of any shipping mobile device ever. Why does it need any excuses?
And you sound like a dick. Related to Digglett by any chance?

No, it has less ppi than the iphone 4 is my problem. Not that I didn't think it wasn't sharp. I'm not sure why people were complaing about the iPads display anywho. What I"m saying is that the ppi doesn't match the Retina defintion and now its okay. The highest resolution of any device ever is irreleveant. If the Asus Transformer achieved this feat, it wouldn't be called retina as people would be complaing its ppi isn't at least the iPhone 4s.

----------

I am not a troll, I am waiting for my iPad 3 to ship like many of you. Samsung has a tablet coming out with a higher resolution in a few months I have read, at the very least some time this year. Having said that it won't have the battery life of the iPad three, the software won't be even close to par among other things. Samsung keeps on trying to trump on certain specs, instead of paying attention to the details and the entire user experience that apple does.

If you want to talk about phones the Samsung Galaxy 3 will be out in April and its specs will blow away the iPhone 4S, and the Galaxy will completely suck in battery life, fit and finish, and software.
I love my Galaxy S (Vibrant), but Samsung completely pissed me off with support. They do make very good hardware. But they make entirely too much. The International Galaxy S should have truly been that. It did need one with a keyboard, one with bing, etc. Just one hardware. This is why Apple continues to dominate.
 

NiKeZz

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2010
286
12
Topeka, Kansas
Because it wouldn't be retina in that case. IMO, Super Amoled Plus is superior. The issue is that Apple/fanboys will redefine what classifies as retina. I find it funny how people will deny some manf. the Retina title but will make excuses for Apple. I'm not starting a flame war, it just is what it is.
I like how you condescend yourself in your own statement.... "IMO". Everyone has their own choice. So don't go around boasting your OPINION like it matters. To most here, opinions are about as useless as a skin colored fanny pack. The fact of the matter is that you have not held the device to compare the two screens to come to such a conclusion. So to make such a statement really shows your ignorance.
 

donnaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
1,134
6
Austin TX
Because it wouldn't be retina in that case. IMO, Super Amoled Plus is superior. The issue is that Apple/fanboys will redefine what classifies as retina. I find it funny how people will deny some manf. the Retina title but will make excuses for Apple. I'm not starting a flame war, it just is what it is.
I agree. When my husband was buying his last phone he was looking at the iPhone. But he then checked the Samsung Focus and to be honest the display on the Focus was better than the iPhone. He bought the Focus.

If you look at both side-by-side there is a real difference. Now the fact that the Focus screen is bigger might have something to do with it but to both him and myself, the Focus was crisper, brighter and the colors popped more.
 

homeboy

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2007
467
1
London
Another key advantage is that apple has a stronger supply chain which means that they can deliver the display at a lower cost than either of those companies.
That's the bottom line. Nothing else matters in the consumer electronic industry. Manufacturers of create products that satisfy these two conditions:

2. The manufacturing costs are low enough for the product to be manufacturered at a reasonable price.

1. Consumers desire the product and are WILL buy the product at the price set by the manufacturer.


Samsung and LG can develop products with a Retina Display but will people buy it? Now. Just look at how brands like RIM and HP have lost millions developing tablets no one wants to buy. Many tablet manufacturers are making major losses.
 

madKIR

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2010
849
780
NYC
This thread doesn't make any sense!
I'm sorry but we don't know who's producing the panels this time around, nothing was confirmed yet.
Moreover, even if it's Samsung and LG again, it doesn't make them the developers of the technology! Remember those rumors about Apple developing this ultra-densed display with Sharp?!
It might be somebody else behind the development of the technology, not necessarily LG or Samsung or even alleged Sharp.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,016
1,574
Lincoln, UK
Of course, but apple can't patent a screen resolution. They can copyright the term "retina display" but not the resolution itself.
They could patent the technology that makes the resolution possible. That is one of many possible reasons and we might never find out the true cause.

It is pretty certain we will see such high resolution devices from others in the near future.