by Jin Kim
IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.
PhoneArena: Codenamed M4, which I’ll call One mini, sports a 4.3-inch display with a 1280×720 pixel format. Although I prefer smaller smartphones—pre-iPhone 5 display sizes being the optimum size in my opinion—a mere addition of 0.4 inches on the HTC One gets me to to full 1920×1080. The difference in display size on the One mini is just too small to justify stepping down from 1920×1080.
Bloomberg: BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins:
In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.
Not for BlackBerry anyway.
Co.Design: Frog’s Chief Creative Officer Mark Rolston:
Curved displays will drive the next five years of landmark inventions.
Project Glass on YouTube: Google posted up an introductory video explaining the basics of Glass. I believe one of the main advantages of Google Glass is hands-free: You no longer need your hands to do a lot of the things you did on a smartphone. The touch UI looks fairly intuitive to me, except that I have to wear a pair of geeky glasses, tap and rub its temple. I don’t want to be tapping and rubbing the Google Glass temple; I’d rather be tapping and rubbing the display on my smartphone. If I ever get over the geekiness, this is what I want to be doing instead: “Glass, take a photo. And send it to Flickr.”
My guess is that the largest contribution to the “reduction of margin” is the increased cost of components.
But why did component costs increase?
The primary method of driving down costs is to make more of the same thing. Apple is failing to make more of the same thing. Take displays for example: Both the iPhone 4 and the 4S made use of the same 3.5-inch LCD. When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S the company procured more 3.5-inch LCDs and drove down the cost of the display for both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4. This didn’t happen with the iPhone 5. Apple was not able to make more of the same thing and so the company was not able to drive down the cost of the display as much as it did in the past.
The Guardian: U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae has been imprisoned since November 2012 in North Korea for “crimes aimed to topple the DPRK”, which can carry a death penalty.
Luke Johnson, Trusted Reviews:
Having unveiled the first curved display OLED TV at CES 2013 earlier this year, LG has suggested that the first curved screen TVs will launch in the UK later this year.
Curved OLED TVs? If I’m back far enough the curvature will end up being a distraction. If LG wants to curve something curve a LCD monitor, like the EA93.
Update 2013.04.28: According to Engadget, pre-orders for the LG 55EA9800 55-inch curved OLED TV starts April 29 at ₩15 million (~US$13,500) with shipments planned for June.
When the iPad mini 2 comes out it wouldn’t be out of character for Apple to reduce the price of the original iPad mini. To what price? I’d guess to around US$249.
During Apple’s earnings call, Tim Cook answered a question regarding the 5-inch smartphone market. Cook cited factors other than display size customers value: resolution, color quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, and compatibility with apps. He then stated “our competitors had some significant tradeoffs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display.” I disagree.
Let’s start with resolution. Most, when mentioning resolution, are referring to pixel format as in something like 1920×1080. But even if Cook was referring to the correct definition of resolution as in density, a larger display does not need to make a resolution tradeoff. On the contrary: High end 5-inch smartphones sport a pixel format of 1920×1080 and that translates to a resolution of 441 ppi. Both the pixel format and the resolution is higher than the 4-inch iPhone 5.
Color quality has no direct connection to the size of the display. What might have been on Cook’s mind is the terrible color quality of OLED displays used by Samsung on many of its larger smartphones like the Galaxy S III, IV, Note II, etc. But look at the HTC One or the LG Optimus G Pro; these smartphones feature large displays with excellent color quality. No tradeoff there.
White balance is terrible on OLED displays, but on high end large LCDs used in smartphones such as the HTC One and the LG Optimus G Pro white balance is just as good as the iPhone 5. Like color quality, there is no direct connection between white balance and the size of the display, unless it’s a Samsung OLED smartphone. (This used to be true, not any more.)
I am convinced when Cook was answering this question Samsung was on his mind. Who can blame him? Samsung is the only company that sells massive smartphones with inferior displays, sells a lot of them, and makes a lot of money. Apple’s biggest (and only?) competitor when it comes to smartphones is Samsung.
Reflectivity is a big issue with touch devices. This again has nothing to do with display size. Glossy cover glasses are one big reason why there is so much reflectivity, but not size.
Screen longevity is not a concern for LCDs, but it is for OLED displays. Most OLED displays if used on a regular basis and at high brightness will not last more than a couple of years before the color becomes unbalanced due to the blue OLED material dying out quicker than the red or green.
Power consumption is a valid tradeoff, but smartphones with larger displays generally have more space than smaller smartphones for larger batteries.
Portability is also a valid tradeoff, but almost half of the adult population carries some type of bag. For them the difference in portability between a 4-inch iPhone and a 5-inch Samsung is trivial.
Compatibility with apps is a weird one. A larger 5-inch iPhone with the same pixel format of 1136×7640 would have no compatibility issues with current apps designed for the 4-inch iPhone 5. Larger fonts and larger icons would be great for an aging population.
Cook didn’t mention one-handed operation as a tradeoff because one-handed operation on the iPhone 5 is difficult for a lot of folks. If Apple had stuck to a 3:2 aspect ratio 3.5-inch display for the iPhone 5 Cook could have mentioned just two tradeoffs—one-handed operation and compatibility with apps—and those would have made sense. But after three generations of 3.5-inch iPhones Apple decided to make the display bigger and the tradeoffs Cook mentioned aren’t good enough reasons for why Apple shouldn’t make an even bigger iPhone.