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New display will vie with LG, Samsung, and others for dominance

While Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930currently dominates the thriving smartphone commodity display market, a number of Asian rivals are aiming to unseat the South Korean giant.  Among them is Japan's Sharp Corp. (TYO:6753).

Sharp announced this week that it would be mass-producing a monstrous 443 ppi (pixels-per-inch) 1920x1080 pixel smartphone screen.  The 5-inch screen could appear in devices as early as the holiday season, but will likely show up in greater quantities next year.  The new display features a brand new pixel technology dubbed CG-Silicon, which Sharp promises brings smartphone displays in line with their full-size counterparts.  Sharp's display likely makes use of the company's new "Igzo" power efficient thin-display tech, as well.

The release marks the latest round in a game of brinksmanship by Japan and South Korea's top display makers.  Early this year South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. (KSC:066570) announced production of a similar 5-inch 440 ppi unit, which will likely launch in a similar window.  LG calls its display technology "Retina" displays.

Sharp Aquos
Sharp is thinking small with its latest 5-inch 1080 display. [Image Source: IntoMobile]

Sharp is reportedly looking to displace LG in Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) coveted iPhone, using a slightly smaller display unit.  The company announced in August that it would be shipping displays for the iPhone 5 en masse.  LG announced similar shipments, indicating that Apple would split its demand between the two manufacturers.

A third player is Japan's Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502), which recently demoed a 498 ppi 6-inch display.  Toshiba's display could be the most impressive of the bunch -- unfortunately it's not yet quite ready for the market.  

Sources: Sharp, UnWired View

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RE: Pointless
By geddarkstorm on 10/1/2012 12:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
We heard similar arguments at the advent of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, and they were wrong then. People do indeed care.

If you've used a high pixel density screen you'll understand why people like them so much, and why there is a push. Things like aliasing are no longer as much of an issue, and the clarity of text is vastly improved. Color and hue gradients also can get improved.

I don't see how we could go past, say, 4k though. Once you're in the 330+ ppi, you may start hitting diminishing returns, but we aren't even near that in laptop/monitor displays (think about printers which use 500-1,000 dpi; displays aren't anywhere near our print media in terms of that sort of quality).

Finally, the push for better resolutions and the hardware to support them trickles down to those lower cost pieces of equipment too. Ten years ago you couldn't buy a speaker system for $2 that would produce 99% of the sound range. That has only become possible because people pushed the bounds and customers bought more expensive 99% equipment, until technology advanced that those old top of the lines became the standard for everyone.

Same happens here with display tech. So I say bring it on! We need it. Desktop/laptop monitor tech is woefully lacking and behind tablet/phones, but hopefully the push going on in that market will spill over to our desktop/laptops in short order (as has indeed begun with that Macbook retina display).

RE: Pointless
By GTVic on 10/1/2012 2:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
Printers are a bit different. You need a higher starting resolution because a printer achieves colour variation by decreasing the number of 'pixels'.

For example, if you want 50% grey you would space your black toner particles twice as far apart which inherently reduces your resolution.

This is why an 8 colour inkjet plotter with extra lt.cyan, lt.magenta, lt.grey and dk.grey ink cartridges produces prints that are noticeably improved over a typical 4 colour printer.

From a CAD perspective, when there is a display that can render say a 1mm line and a 1.1mm or 1.2mm wide line at any angle without any stair stepping and without using anti-aliasing and the viewer can visibly see the change in width then I would say the DPI is high enough. 443 dpi (17.5 dpm - dots per mm) is close but you may need up to double that, somewhere between 20-30 dpm I think would do.

RE: Pointless
By SPOOFE on 10/1/2012 3:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
We heard similar arguments at the advent of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, and they were wrong then. People do indeed care.

That's why Blu-Rays are outselling DVD's 3-to-1, right? Right? Oh wait....

RE: Pointless
By Solandri on 10/1/2012 6:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
For blu-ray players, I think it's more the fact that they can play DVDs but don't cost much more than DVD players.

Two of the network TV stations in Los Angeles broadcast in 720p. The other two broadcast in 1080i, which most TVs scan to make equivalent to 1080p. 100% of people I've asked have been unable to correctly say which stations use 720p and which use 1080i. People don't care.

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