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Why Samsung won't use a Retina-like display for its tablets

April 7, 2012
ipad retina

I know that a few of you out there honestly believe tablets are really all about the software and the tasks it makes easier to accomplish. But I definitely know more people that are interested more in the display than anything else. Independent on where you stand on the matter, you might have found out that the amazing Retina display of Apple’s new iPad is, in fact, manufactured by Samsung, the biggest competitor to Apple when it comes to the number of smartphones and tablets they sell. So, the question arises: why doesn’t Samsung release a competing Android tablet with the same high resolution display as the one found on the new iPad?

The thing is Samsung is not betting on LCD displays, although they obviously have the tech to manufacture quality ones, such as the Retina display. So why could that be? The main reason relates to the fact that Samsung is the only company that can mass produce a new and different type of panels: SAMOLED displays.

Samsung has gained a head start by investing billions in the SAMOLED technology, so it definitely makes sense for them to use it as a differentiating marketing feature. And that’s just what they’ve done with recent iterations of the highly popular Galaxy series such as the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy S2, or the Galaxy Nexus. In case you missed it, Samsung also has a SAMOLED tablet available on the market: the Galaxy Tab 7.7, albeit it comes in a slimmer, sexier form factor, and is not a direct competitor to the iPad.

Although SAMOLED has its disadvantages when compared to LCD, the brightness, contrast ratios, and low power consumption definitely qualify SAMOLED panels as a worthy alternative to any LCD screen, Retina display included. Remember: Samsung is the only SAMOLED manufacturer out there. In case you like the tech, you’ll end up buying a Samsung device.

Further still, a recent Digitimes report has unsurprisingly revealed that Samsung will soon introduce a new wave of SAMOLED displays, which showcase pixel densities that can rival the Retina display (without using the much criticized Pentile arrangement). This means Samsung’s next line of flagship superphones might woo buyers with their beautiful displays, as the first two Galaxy S phones did at the time of their release.

So, to finish off from where I started this article, Samsung won’t use Retina-like displays in their upcoming devices because it will put them in the same market as Apple. By contrast, Apple cannot use SAMOLED displays on their devices from pretty much the same reason, and, probably, because Samsung wants to save the technology for its own products.

The only thing that’s missing from the picture is a 10.1-inch (or 11.6) Android tab from Samsung with a high resolution SAMOLED display, running Android 4.0 ICS. That would be a true competitor to the iPad now, wouldn’t it?