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Dueling Tablet Display Rumors Almost as Fun to Watch as Dueling Legal Manuevers



I’ve been saying for quite some time now that in the great Tablet race there isn’t much going to separate one Tablet from another when it comes to hardware. (It’s all about the software/hardware optimization in my view.) Sure there will be some small sprints as to who has the faster processor, and who has 4G coverage, and it was oh, so obvious, who is going to have the highest resolution screen.

But that doesn’t mean the Tablet makers don’t compete on other fronts. Lately its been on the legal front between Apple and Samsung. Now it looks like those two are starting to compete in rumor land as well. This time about those high resolution displays. Adam already linked to a BGR post telling us that Samsung is looking to race ahead of Apple by having a higher than high res screen ready come February, apparently with a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

There’s also word out (breathlessly within a few short ticks of the clock) that Apple’s iPad 3 will indeed have a Retina Display, with an announcement around February. This one comes from an analyst at Citi. (Don’t get me started on analysts.)

Who really knows where these rumors start. There’s obviously speculation that they come from inside sources in a continual game of one-ups-manship. And of course all of the blogs will follow every nuance about both rumors until we’re all blue in the face. But since we all know there isn’t any real competitive advantage available on the hardware front, we might as well compete with rumors.

Let’s see a show of hands here. Does anyone who even remotely follows the Tablet race not expect both Samsung and Apple to compete with higher res displays next spring? Anyone? Really? I didn’t think so.

Increasingly I find it amusing, especially in the context that I began this post with. There’s very little to differentiate these slates and what they can do when it comes to the stuff that makes up the hardware. And you can bet that whoever plants a new flag first with a new display or a new chip or a new whatever, won’t stay in the lead for long.

Maybe that’s why we have all of this money being invested in lawyers.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ike Pigott

    12/08/2011 at 1:17 pm

    The escalation loses steam once the differences are no longer¬†noticeable. For instance, the Retina Display — by definition — can’t be topped because anything better is beyond human perception.

    It used to be the same with processor speed and power — a chip that clocked four times as fast took a quarter of the time to crunch through spreadsheets (or rendering.) Now, the difference between 16 ten-thousandths of a second and 4 ten-thousandths of a second is negligible (minus placebo effect and suggestion.)

    That’s why I feel the Android run is going to start bogging down… the need for ever-faster and better (and dual-core) processors comes down to the need for more power to churn through code. We’re starting to see some people recognize that other mobile OS’s are able to swipe and sing without missing a beat, despite being run on “lesser” equipment. (Which is also a benefit, when that slower-clocked processor saves you a lot in battery life.)

    Processors have already evolved past the horizon of noticeable difference — display resolutions are getting there too.

    The next frontier for brutal comparison will probably be internet access speeds, followed by boot times, followed by latency.

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