by Jin Kim
GSM Arena: The Samsung Galaxy S4 sports a 4.99-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1920×1080 pixel format. If the sub-pixel structure is RGB then resolution can be calculated at 441 ppi, but there is a chance the sub-pixel structure might not be RGB and therefore resolution not as high as 441 ppi.
Update 2013.04.24: Reviews are in, and the sub-pixel structure is not RGB. According to AnandTech, Samsung is using yet another sub-pixel format for the Galaxy S4:
There’s still a bias toward more green subpixels than blue or red, this isn’t an RGB stripe at all, but instead of the previous RG,BG layout we see this offset pattern with green on one line, then blue and red on another line. Interestingly enough the blue subpixel appears to be a square, and red and green appear to be circles, with the difference in area possibly offsetting the luminous efficiency of each material.
David Pierce, The Verge:
The GS4′s 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is big, beautiful, and seriously eye-catching. The latter is partially a bad thing: the S4 uses a Super AMOLED panel like many of Samsung’s phones, and like many of Samsung’s phones it displays overly contrasted and vibrant colors. Those colors may not be accurate — reds and oranges absolutely explode off the screen, whether they should or not — but they certainly catch your eye. And with a ridiculous 441-pixels-per-inch, even the PenTile display matrix I usually loathe causes no problems.
Catchy versus accurate colors? I prefer the later. The resolution of 441 ppi is not correct since ppi assumes a RGB sub-pixel structure. I’m also not certain this version of the PenTile sub-pixel structure exhibits no problems; we will know for sure when Raymond Soneira publishes an in-depth display technology shoot-out article comparing the Galaxy S4′s OLED display tomorrow morning.
Update 2013.04.25: And here it is. The definitive word from Ray Soneira:
But for digitally generated fine text and graphics with precise pixel layouts the eye can visually detect the reduced number of red and blue sub-pixels unless the number of red and blue sub-pixels per inch is very high. And it is for the Galaxy S4 – there are 312 red and blue sub-pixels per inch, which is only a few percent lower than Apple’s benchmark 326 PPI iPhone retina display. Visually the Galaxy S4 PenTile display delivers excellent visual sharpness across the board.
There you have it: When it comes to visual sharpness the PenTile OLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is about as good as the RGB IPS LCD on the iPhone. The result of the shoot-out? A tie:
The iPhone 5 is significantly brighter than the Galaxy S4, particularly for screens with mostly peak white backgrounds. Its color calibration is a bit better, although the Galaxy S4 has a more accurate white. The Galaxy S4 has a much bigger screen, higher resolution, higher PPI, much darker blacks, and better screen uniformity than the iPhone 5.
Color accuracy has always been a sour point for OLED displays, but the Galaxy S4 at least has an option: If color and image accuracy are most important Soneira recommends Movie Mode, which provides “very nice, pleasing, and accurate colors and picture quality.
Apple iPhone display engineers have some work to do: improve white accuracy, deepen blacks, and enhance screen uniformity.
David S. Cohen, Variety:
Odds are that before the end of the year, one or more will decide that the meager returns from 35mm screens simply don’t justify the cost of prints, particularly for their tentpole releases.
There are almost 40,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada, and 86% have converted to digital according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.
What the competitors don’t seem to understand is you cannot get people this smart to work this hard just for money. Jony is Obi-Wan. His team are Jedi whose nobility depends on the pursuit of greatness [...]
via John Gruber. Min-Jeong Lee, The Wall Street Journal:
LG Display Co. swung to a net profit in the first quarter as tablet screen sales to Apple Inc. increased, and analysts said the South Korean display maker’s fortunes this year will be closely tied to demand for the U.S. company’s gadgets.
This is how I understand the analysis by Min-Jeong Lee: LG Display lost money in Q4’12, but sold more LCDs geared for Apple’s iPad or iPad mini (or both?) and that’s why the South Korea-based display manufacturer made a profit in Q1’13. And the only way for LGD to continue generating profits in 2013 is for Apple’s iPads to sell well and for Apple to continue procuring iPad displays from LGD.
Here’s a different take on the same news. Miyoung Kim, Reuters:
LG Display Co Ltd reported its smallest profit since it returned to the black in the second quarter of last year, as demand for iPhone and iPad screens from Apple weakened amid concerns the U.S. company is losing its luster in the mobile device market.
Here’s what I think Miyoung Kim is trying to say: Apple is concerned the U.S. is losing its luster in the mobile device market. So the company’s demand for iPhone and iPad LCDs from LGD weakened. And that’s why LGD’s profit in Q1’13 was the smallest since Q2’12.
How can both of these analyses be true? Let’s see if we can make sense out of these seemly contradictory analyses. LGD’s sales of iPad LCDs to Apple increased. The portion of iPad LCD sales to Apple grew relative to the portion of iPhone LCD sales to Apple. LGD’s sales of iPhone LCDs to Apple decreased. Because LGD’s sales of iPad LCDs to Apple grew the South Korea-based display manufacturer was able to eck out a profit in Q1’13, but because LGD’s sales of iPhone LCDs to Apple declined profits could have been better but weren’t. I think that makes sense, doesn’t it?
MacRumors: New photos suggest the next iPad will sport a design inspired by the iPad mini with narrower side bezels.
Update 2013.04.18: Eric Slivka, MacRumors:
Kuo expects mass production and shipments of the new iPad to ramp up in the August-September timeframe, with the device registering roughly 15% thinner and 25% lighter than the current full-size iPad.
CNN: That’s quarter over quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Year over year Verizon’s iPhone activations grew 25%.
According to Wikpedia, the iPhone 4S was announced on October 4, 2011, become available for pre-order on October 7, and was available for in-store sales on October 14.
According to Wikipedia, the iPhone 5 was announced on September 12, 2012, became available for pre-order on September 14, and was available for in-store sales on September 21.
Comparing fourth quarters, the iPhone 5 had 14 extra days than the iPhone 4S. One way to look at this is to assume more of the folks who wanted the iPhone 5 bought it in the fourth quarter, leaving less of those who wanted the iPhone 5 to buy in the first quarter of 2013.
It also might be more than before folks who wanted the iPhone 5 bought it for other carriers such as AT&T and Sprint. And some have been waiting for the iPhone 5 to become available on T-Mobile, which started selling the iPhone 5 on April 12, 2013.
Not everyone was happy about the iPhone 5′s redesign, but to think the iPhone 5 is not selling well because of a steeper drop in activations quarter over quarter in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the drop in activations quarter over quarter in the first quarter of 2012 is probably premature. We’ll have to wait and see how the iPhone 5 sold at other carriers in the U.S. and worldwide to make a definitive conclusion. We will find out on April 23, 2013 when Apple announces calendar year first quarter 2013 results.
Toshiba: The Toshiba KIRAbook is like a 13.3-inch retina MacBook Pro stuffed into a 13.3-inch MacBook Air. Unlike the 16:10 2560×1600 13-inch retina MacBook Pro the KIRAbook’s 13.3-inch LCD sports a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 2560×1440 pixel format. Resolution is an impressive 221 ppi (Toshiba states a resolution of 217 ppi, which doesn’t make sense), but falls slightly behind the Chromebook Pixel’s 239 ppi and the 13.3-inch retina MacBook Pro’s 227.
David Pierce at The Verge reports viewing angles are “pretty bad”. I can’t understand bad viewing angles on a US$1600 premium notebook where the display is one of its main attractions.
But are viewing angles important on a notebook? I don’t move around much when I’m on my 17-inch MacBook Pro. I suppose most don’t. So what good are excellent viewing angles? Well, let me put it this way: When I’m approaching my MacBook Pro from an angle and if the LCD had poor viewing angles with washed out colors I wouldn’t have good feelings about it.
Assuming further that “other” vendors have the same profitability ratio as the top 5 combined yields a figure of 45% “profit capture of PC market” for Apple. This is not as good as its performance in the phone market, where Apple has about 72%, but it’s not bad.
Chris Welch, The Verge:
Google’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette today said that products in Motorola’s pipeline are “not really to the standards that what Google would say is wow — innovative, transformative.”
Perhaps a good kick in the butt will get Motorola going again.
Update 2013.04.16: Shara Tibken, c|net:
“What I’d advise to do with Motorola is wait and see with the next generation of technology,” Schmidt said. “It’s very, very impressive.”
Less than two months ago Pichette wasn’t impressed with what Motorola had in the pipeline. Now Schmidt is very impressed. Which is it? Schmidt can at times exaggerate so I’ll go with Pichette.