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With the launch of the iPhone and iPad, as well as the new MacBook, Apple has continued on its path of increasing its display resolution. And it will continue doing so.
Apple created the term "Retina display" not just as a marketing phrase, but to educate end users about high resolution. The company has been leading the trend in displays with high pixels per inch (ppi, the measurement of resolution), especially with the launch of iPhone 4, the first smart phone with a resolution of more than 300 ppi, and the new iPad, the first tablet PC with over 200 ppi.
However, other smart device makers, including Samsung, HTC, Google, Amazon, Sony, Lenovo, and ASUS are closely following Apple, and in some cases have introduced products with higher resolutions, such as Google’s Nexus 10 tablet PC, with a 10.1-inch 2560×1600 display at 298 ppi, and coming smart phones using 5-inch 1920×1080 displays at 490 ppi.
Some folks thought that Apple would introduce the Retina display concept into all of its products and keep increasing resolution, but the iPad mini doesn't have a Retina display, and the iPhone 5 isn't higher resolution compared to their predecessors, iPhone 4 and iPad.
"So will Apple continue to lead the trend of the high resolution?" ask the DisplaySearch research group (www.displaysearch.com). "Or has the company decided that current resolutions are good enough, and is focusing on improvements in form factor and power consumption."
According to my crystal ball, Apple will do all three. I fully expect the second gen iPad mini to have Retina displays. Ditto the next rev of MacBooks Airs and perhaps even the next gen and iMacs.
Improved displays, tweaked form factors and battery life improvements will keep Apple at the forefront of the handheld and portable markets. Which is just one reason why I think analyst Sameer Sign is wrong when he predicts (http://macte.ch/q4Hzs) the iPad will dip below 50% market share next year. In fact, by the end of 2013, I forecast it will have 60-plus percent of the market.
-- Dennis Sellers