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. I hope Apple starts using its patins in haptic. That would be great. Samsung brings out ultra HD or 4K that is pointless on a tablet let alone a phone. Then iOS devices start having screens you can feel. Something very useful. It would be fun reading the Android fans BS their way out of that. Oh yea when is Android going to come out with 64 bit? I think most people care more about speed than pixel count.

  2. The 805 chip, as it is currently designed, is a tablet chip, not a phone chip.

    Sure, come people are extrapolating and saying the 805 *could* be put into a phone, but no one who really knows the technology is predicting this. The cost to battery life to drive both this chip and a screen at UHDTV (NOT 4K as that is a Digital Cinema standard and is different from the popular misnomer) is just much, much too high. Want a phone that lasts four hours or less of use? Use technologies available within the next 12 months *and* use this chip to drive a UHDTV resolution screen on a typical cell phone battery.

    I do believe there will be UHDTV resolution tablets by 2015 if only for some company to have those bragging rights, but they won’t be the new “standard”.

  3. It appears that a Mr Kent at the Daily Planet has complained that he can still make out individual pixels on a retina display. A gap in the market that needs to becaddressed, obviously.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.