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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 Solandri on 10/1/2012 8:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
Screen size is irrelevant. What's important is the angular separation between pixels. This is purely a function of DPI and distance from the eye to the screen. Screen size never factors into it.

150-200 DPI is a good target for screens viewed from about 2-3 feet away. 20/20 vision is the ability to distinguish two lines one arc-minute apart, or half an arc-minute per pixel (two black lines need a white line in between). So viewed at 36" the smallest distinguishable pixel is:

36" * tan(1/120 degrees) = 0.005236 inches, or 190.9 DPI. Any higher DPI than this is pointless at 36" inches - you can't see the difference with 20/20 vision.

If you squint at your phone from 12 inches away, this increases to 573 DPI. If you sit at a table with your big monitor 4 feet away, this drops to 143 DPI. Do note that this is for the very threshold of seeing - as in have to stare at it for a while to say for sure there are two lines and not one. In practical terms, moderately lower DPI is sufficient.

Along the same token, a TV viewed from 10 feet away only needs 57 DPI for 20/20 vision. For 1080p, that's a 39" screen. Similarly, a 4k screen (4096x2160) viewed from 10 feet would need to be 81" diagonal for you to just barely benefit from the resolution. For this reason I'm very skeptical of the market for 4k displays outside of theaters, work monitors, and for videophiles creating a cult over imperceptible improvements similar to audiophiles.

RE: Pointless
By TakinYourPoints on 10/1/2012 8:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
^^^ Exactly this. As many people here have been saying, the need for higher pixel density is partly the product of viewing distance.

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