Apple’s iPhone Retina display may be obsolete by next year

“Apple’s iPhone Retina display may soon become obsolete,” Nigam Arora reports for MarketWatch. “Apple’s iPhone 5S Retina resolution is 1136 x 640. Next year, competitors will have resolution of 3840 x 2160. The obsolescence is going to come far sooner than I had even recently expected based on information from Samsung’s Analyst Day. The new trouble for Retina displays came Wednesday in the form of an announcement by Qualcomm, a major provider of mobile phone chips. If Apple fails to respond in a timely manner with a new display, it could have a serious effect on the stock.”

“Until now, one of the impediments to Ultra HD mobile phones has been lack of a commercially available GPU capable of driving the massive number of pixels while using low power. Retina display is not Ultra HD,” Arora reports. “Now Qualcomm has introduced its next generation Snapdragon 805 ‘Ultra HD’ processor. This is the first mobile processor that supports 4K Ultra HD resolution. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon 805 samples are available now and will be delivered in commercial quantities in the first half of 2014.”

“From Samsung’s Analyst Day, Samsung is expected to introduce a 4K-display mobile phone in 2015. Samsung is anticipating an intermediate step between the Galaxy S4 display, the present-day flagship phone, and the 4K display in 2015. The intermediate step is a phone with a 560 ppi at 5.2 inches and a resolution of 2560 x 1440,” Arora reports. “As a reference, Galaxy S4 provides a resolution of 441 ppi and a resolution of 1080 x 1920, and Apple iPhone 5S, the flagship Apple phone, provides 326 ppi and a resolution of 1136 x 640. iPad Air provides 264 ppi and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 on a 9.7 inch screen… Retina displays as most consumers know them will be obsolete in 2014. Apple will fall behind the competitors unless it introduces a new match for 4K.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t worry about Apple’s display quality.


  1. the increase of pixel density is not visible to the naked eye but does affect the way we see subtle color variations and shadows on things like skin (just saying) I am sure Apple will chose a blend that gets the highest yield in both picture and power yields one without the other is moot. if they dpi make a bigger phone they may need a denser screen .Samsung needs it now the screen rez on the present phones is laughable

  2. I’ve been away for a while. Did people suddenly get enhanced eyeballs where higher resolution than “the smallest dot that a human can see” actually means anything besides “YOU’RE PUSHING MORE PIXELS THEREFORE MAKING YOUR PRODUCT SLOWER?” I’ve still got the 19 inch penis enhancement on order so I’ll keep this eyeball enhancement feature for later…

  3. Right so these phones will be available a few months before the next iPhone upgrade. Fact is these chips are advertised as test mules for phone makers to develop products 8 months ahead. Apple of course is testing or soon will its next generation of chips that will have similar qualities in this regard so apart from one is advertising a future product and the other isn’t because it only supplies to itself whats the difference.

  4. Harem scarem, but it would be good to have an optional big-screen iPhone for those who want one. And for those who need one, such as several of my middle-aged lady friends who have gone over to the Galaxy to ease their eyesight.

  5. Uh, another analyst speaks of what if based on the competitors vision. Well, for now the Retina Display is fine due to the fact that it gives the viewer a pixel free smoothness. Just as the days when Blue ray was to placed on every notebook with its ultra high resolution, which is not totally perceivable by the human eye, that soon cost a lot and used a lot of energy. Problem with ultra high resolution on a small device is the return the viewer will see and the cost to do it on small screens in both cost in CPU use of energy and cycles.

    Maybe before rendering the Retina obsolete, consider that there is a maximum perceivable resolution that once pasted offers no further benefit to the veiwer. 4K is not the Holy Grail even if you can shove 7K resolution on a 5 inch screen! Point is mute on resolution for a Smart Phone or any other device once the eye can no longer see any difference and large resolutions are for clarity on LARGE screens. Maybe he should speak more on the processing of output to large screens form smart phones with a solid compression technology that would use nominal power to get that job done.

  6. ok. this is probably a stupid question but i’m gonna ask cuz a little piece of me is kinda stupid. with denser pixel display, denser ccd’s in future models, will i be able to change lenses and do some macro photos? never mind, i think i know the answer. if all those things came true then i guess it stands to reason. god, i love the smell of reason in the morning. oh yeah, and samsungs a loser …but sometimes losers become winners cuz they have no honor and no standards of ethical behavior and that’s why there are so many rich prick winners. just think of all those greedy people who sold risky loans so they could dump them on fanny mae and then you end up with all those mortgage backed securities sold around the world and bernie type ponzie schemes and hardly anyone paying the price for nearly bringing down the economy and blowing up their own housing bubble. sorry, i’m just taking up space. do not read this. i’m just kinda embarrassing myself, although, i did manage to spell embarrassing correctly. i’m a petty decent speeler and that’s why i deserve more pixels. i’m shut up now.

  7. I don’t think a higher resolution screen on the phone is the idea, I thing the pundit missed a very important point about a faster graphics processor in a phone. What you want is an iPhone with 4k processing capability so when you plug your phone into a large screen TV, the phone can handle it.

    I’m absolutely certain by the time 4k video and TVs become common, the iPhone processor will be able to handle it.

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