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01-20-2011, 01:41 PM #1
Why an iPad 2 Retina Display Makes No Sense... Yet
Taiwan newspaper DigiTimes is reporting today that Apple will be including a Retina Display on the next iPad that will be twice the resolution of the current display. And yes, before anyone else says it: the fact that it's in DigiTimes is almost enough alone to conclude that this report is bunk. There are, however, other valid reasons to discount the rumor.
#1 RAM. Doubling the current iPad's resolution means going from 1024 x 768 pixels all the way up to 2048 x 1536, and as John Gruber notes over at Daring Fireball, that's almost as many pixels as the 27" iMac at 2560 x 1440 resolution. The iMac comes with 512 MB of RAM on its graphics card, though, and the iPad has only 256 MB total, which must be shared by the CPU and the GPU. It takes a lot of memory to power that many pixels, even if such a screen could be produced cost-effectively. Which brings us to...
#2 Moore's Law. This famous observation about semiconductor development states that the number of transistors that can be put on a given chip doubles approximately every 18 months. This trend also holds for LCD screens, which are manufactured using similar technologies. Doubling the resolution of a screen, though, doesn't mean doubling the number of pixels, but doing something more like quadrupling it. Blogger Avery Pennarun did an interesting analysis that figured the doubling time to get an iPhone 4-like Retina Display on an iPad-sized screen. The result: not until Christmas 2013. (However, according to this analysis, we'll have desktop-sized Retina Displays by Christmas 2015.)
Anyway, Gruber - whose Apple sources are so good he is constantly accused of being on the payroll - says that people on the inside are telling him the iPad 2 will have a 1024 x 768 screen. He also says that there are 2048 x 1536 iPad prototypes at Apple... but that they're not for the iPad 2.
Source: Daring Fireball
01-20-2011, 01:46 PM #2
I'm ok with the Retina Display as long as we don't have to pay more for this.
01-20-2011, 02:22 PM #3
even doubling the resolution will be awesome, the screen already looks great. Keep it the same price as the current iPad and i will pick one up. that and it better have, dual core processor, 1 GB ram and a camera on the front, and better speakers. Which are all reasonable upgrades.
01-20-2011, 02:25 PM #4
01-20-2011, 02:27 PM #5
I don't think the iPad 2 will have the Retina Display, which is fine. I think all we're getting is front/back camera, thinner design, better speakers, and then a BIG maybe on the USB slot, possibly an SD slot. We'll find out soon though.
01-20-2011, 02:29 PM #6
this topic should be renamed to "why an ipad makes no sense"
01-20-2011, 02:38 PM #7
01-20-2011, 02:38 PM #8
Imagine the massive increase in file size of iPad apps with retina display capability but then again you have the 64gb option.
Last edited by xclusiveiphone; 01-20-2011 at 02:42 PM.
01-20-2011, 02:43 PM #9
01-20-2011, 02:57 PM #10
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01-20-2011, 03:19 PM #11
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01-20-2011, 03:22 PM #12
01-20-2011, 03:29 PM #13
Actually i hope the ipad 2 doesnt come with retina. Because i want an ipad with retina and i cant pay for one this year. Ill be getting an iphone 4 or iphone 5. Plus school and my car expenses blabla. I also bought one 8 months ago. But hey its there world they want the money and they come out with what they want ill always just keep on trying to buy it
01-20-2011, 03:33 PM #14
I don't think you can talk about a Retina display and mention 256MB RAM. Why would they update to a Retina display but not increase the RAM? It will at least have the 512 that the iPhone 4 has.
A Retina Display would be nice, but I'd also be disappointed if it had the exact same resolution as the iPad.
EDIT: My bad, Paul didn't bother to put what was in the original article, which was this:
The current iPad has 256 MB of RAM, which is shared between the CPU and GPU. I don’t think 512 MB of RAM would be enough for an iPad with a 2048 × 1536 display.
01-20-2011, 03:42 PM #15
I doubt Apple will give it only 512MB ram even though they typically just double the RAM from the previous generation. 1GB has become the standard for tablet devices and I don't see Apple handicapping the iPad by doing any less.
01-20-2011, 03:48 PM #16
Well Apple has invested 4 billion U.S. In securing component/manufacturing contracts. It could be possible that Apple has invested in new manufacturing processes with Imagination/Sharp/Toshiba/etc. For the iPad 2. Perhaps the iPad 1, with it's "shortcomings", was a rush to market to beat android, WebOS, and others their. That gives them a real head start. They release an awesome display on the iPhone 4 with the strategy of releasing something even better on there tablet. Seriously if it weren't for Apple I doubt we'd even see a BB or Android tablet. They really brought the concept of mobile OS's to tablet computing. Apple has spent alot of cash securing components and as process investments for component makers. It's really not too far off to think we'd have an iPad display at double resolution. Especially with the new dual-16 core GPU's from Imagination. With all of the new tech coupled with with Apple's extremely efficient and fast SoC design it's not all that far out that they could double the res. They can afford the additional RAM, which I would guess they'd quadruple+ for such an upgrade. Additionally to produce a "Retina Display" Apple doesn't need 326PPi on an iPad to remove pixelation as the the iPad is held further away. This is likely one of the "magical/revolutionary/huge" features on iPad 2! We'll have to wait to see I guess... I do think however, that the iPad 2 will feature a double res, retina-like display!
01-20-2011, 04:06 PM #17
Who says that they'll have to double the graphics, i'd be fine with having 1.5x the current graphicsName? whereswaldo
iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
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01-20-2011, 04:55 PM #18
Well, with your #1... an iMac runs on osx, while iPad on iOS. With an iMac you can have a lot more going on and running in the background, while on an iPad, there is multitasking, but there will be no where near as much going on. So why couldn't it handle a resolution upgrade?
01-20-2011, 10:13 PM #19
While I agree that their is no solid proof until it's been announced, these attempts at "debunking the retina myth" are more silly than the rumors themselves.
Gruber's analysis lists two reasons why he doesn't think this is possible, and they're both mistakes. He says there wouldn't be a 1024x768 iPad camera graphic if the new model will have a high resolution display. If you look at the resolution bump that just happened, you'll see that there's 320x480 Facetime icon graphics, despite no device existing which officially supports Facetime, and has a low resolution display. There's no evidence that Apple removes low resolution graphics for features that are unsupported on older hardware.
His argument about the video memory is also flawed. Desktop operating systems like Mac and Windows use desktop compositors that keep a full image of every single window that's open on your system. This has the potential to use significantly more memory than the framebuffer itself if you have a lot of windows/tabs open. The framebuffer for a 3MP image at 32bpp is only 12MB, so on an iPad 2 you would need all of 9MB extra RAM to hold a double size image. Just as an example, compare the 3GS to the iPhone 4. Quadruple resolution, but only double RAM, and the iPhone 4 still has a lot more free memory.
John Gruber may have good sources, but his logic and reasoning skills on this topic seem flawed.
The blog by Avery Pennarun was an interesting read, and more logical, but he also based his conclusion on flawed assumptions. He stated that both the iPhone 4, and iPad displays were state of the art at the time. Here's a 2MP 4.8" 460 DPI full HD display from last year. That's 200% larger and 50% higher density than the iPhone display. And the iPad? Really? 1024x768 10" LCD is state of the art? Here's a 2048x1536 15" laptop from 5 years ago. Basing the 2013 expectation of an iPad retina display on the current iPad screen being state of the art is just no good. Most of the comparisons to desktop displays also ignore the inadequate support of current desktop OS to scale DPI much past 150 without breaking things. Hardware is not the reason we don't have 250 DPI desktop displays. HDTV actually made things worse by giving marketing a selling point that was below then-current resolution standards for computer displays.
01-21-2011, 12:40 AM #20
speculation and rumors... all bla to me
my opinion it makes a lot of sense either the resolution of an 11 inch macbook air or a retina.
also camera makes a lot of sense.
but just keep screaming rumors and speculation if you say enough different things 1 day you will be right if not in ipad 2 then ipad 3.
also just say every week that a new iphone or ipad is going to launch next week you will also be right 1 day.