Apple rumored to pay at least $150 for MacBook Pro Retina Display panels

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Competing notebook makers are reportedly looking to follow in Apple's footsteps by releasing their own high-resolution laptops, but pricing could pose a significant obstacle, as the Mac maker is rumored to pay at least $150 per unit for the Retina Display found in its MacBook Pro.

After Apple on Monday released a completely-redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2,880-by-1,800-pixel Retina Display, sales of the laptop quickly took off, with the company's shipping estimates slipping to three to four weeks on Tuesday.

The early success of the MacBook Pro will likely come as a relief to display panel makers looking to increase profits by selling higher-resolution notebook screens. If, as it appears set to do, the Retina Display-equipped MacBook Pro becomes a hit, it could play a part in convincing other notebook makers to transition to higher-resolution panels.

Apple's role in the industry has sometimes been characterized as the one who tests the waters for new technologies and features while more risk-averse companies prefer to wait and see how Apple fares before following suit. For instance, the company has gradually been rolling out Retina Displays, its marketing term for screens with sufficiently dense resolutions for the pixels to be indistinguishable to the human eye from the standard viewing distance, across its line of products. The iPhone 4 was the first of Apple's products to bear the Retina Display moniker, followed by the iPod touch, the iPad and now the Macbook Pro.

MacBook Pro


Adding a Retina Display to the MacBook Pro doesn't appear to come cheap though, if a new report is to be believed. Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported on Wednesday that, according to industry sources, the new display is likely to cost "above $150 per unit" from alleged suppliers Samsung and LG Display. By comparison, panel makers reportedly told the publication that the average price of 13- to 15-inch HD notebook panels is $40 to $45, while "Full HD IPS panels" supplied to Asustek are rumored to cost around $90 to $100 a unit.

Apple is definitely an early-mover in the high-resolution laptop space. According to the publication's research, less than 2 percent of global notebook panel shipments will have "resolution of Full HD or above" in the first half of this year. Those numbers are expected to change, however.

"Panel makers expect increasing demand for high resolution panels as non-Apple firms will likely follow suit in introducing similar products," the report read.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    If the display is less than $200, then it kind of confirms why we haven't seen these screens earlier or on Windows PCs, OS support.
  • Reply 2 of 49
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    It makes sense that the cost would be high.  It probably took time to develop and mass produce the screens as well.  I would think in time the cost would begin to drop.  I have to see one of these machines.  Its gotta be incredible to look at.  Well done Apple.  How much do you wanna bet Steve had a hand in this design?

  • Reply 3 of 49
    Although I did order a couple of these new laptops, I really can't see the retina thing catching on with windows machines quickly; windows users in my experiance are generally looking for the lowest cost Walmart computer on the market. Until PC manufacturers can change the bargin basement brainwave pc users shop with; this will be another piece of the market strictly for Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 49


    All other laptop screens will now look like Nintendo Gameboys.

  • Reply 5 of 49
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,915member
    tylerk36 wrote: »
    It makes sense that the cost would be high.  It probably took time to develop and mass produce the screens as well.  I would think in time the cost would begin to drop.  I have to see one of these machines.  Its gotta be incredible to look at.  Well done Apple.  How much do you wanna bet Steve had a hand in this design?

    Plus... Apple's not buying these screens in the same volume as say, the iPad's screen.

    Apple buys iPad screens by the tens of millions.

    Hopefully, as the price goes down, they will offer a Retina display across the entire Macbook line.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    First off, it doesn't surprise me.  Second off, what does that matter.  Third, i can't wait to see one in person. Forth, I hope to someday own one or maybe a 17inch if they can come out with one. (i honestly think they might do it, because i think the professional crowd might request it enough to warrant making it)  Apple never said they weren't going to make one and it makes sense that these types of screens take time to get the technology to the point where they can offer the larger panels at a price  point to where it is within reason to buy the finished product.


     


    Go Apple, keep on bringing better designed products, just get the iMacs, MacMinis, MacPros and the other products continually getting better.


     


    I could actually see Apple coming out with a 17inch model with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage for under $5,000 and they'd still sell a bunch of them.

  • Reply 7 of 49
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Worth. Every. Penny.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post





    Plus... Apple's not buying these screens in the same volume as say, the iPad's screen.

    Apple buys iPad screens by the tens of millions.

    Hopefully, as the price goes down, they will offer a Retina display across the entire Macbook line.


    I can eventually see this going throughout the entire product line in a few more years.  But, they have to put a more expensive graphics chip inside which draws power, takes up room, etc.  So, I don't know if they can do it in a MBAir.


     


    Either way, great product.


     


    On a side note and some will disagree with me and it is usually a price issue only.  I think Apple has the additional 8GB memory soldered on the motherboard, so it is better to do a BTO fully loaded for long term usage.  Now, I don't have confirmation on this, but if this is true, I think it might be the best.  Here's why.  I have owned Apple products throughout the years and one thing that I can say about Apple memory vs third party memory.   I have had ZERO problems with ALL of the Apple branded memory PERIOD, but with third party memory, mfg vary, i have had problems.  And for some stupid reason, when I have had problems, new memory sent didn't always work.  I don't know why other than I think that a lot of the memory suppliers don't really ensure that their memory really passes all of the memory tests as well as they should when they put them in these million dollar testing systems.  So, what might appear as a cost savings by going with third party memory, I can only suggest Kingston.   Just my personal experience and observations.  They might pass, but only to the point where they work.  I have heard good things about the reliability and compatibility of Kingston, but not other mfg.  Plus, if you get the AppleCare Warranty, Apple will just swap out the motherboard IF in fact, the memory is soldered in.


     


    I hope someone can verify if Apple solders the additional memory on these units, if in fact that's the case because the picture of the interior doesn't seem to show any memory slot that I can tell.  Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Reply 9 of 49
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post



    Plus... Apple's not buying these screens in the same volume as say, the iPad's screen.

    Apple buys iPad screens by the tens of millions.

    Hopefully, as the price goes down, they will offer a Retina display across the entire Macbook line.

     

    They may be purchasing more of them, but the ipad retina screen is much higher pixel density than this new mac screen.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post





    Plus... Apple's not buying these screens in the same volume as say, the iPad's screen.

    Apple buys iPad screens by the tens of millions.

    Hopefully, as the price goes down, they will offer a Retina display across the entire Macbook line.


    With the looks of the lead time going from 2-3 weeks early this morning to 4-5 weeks this afternoon, this product actually might sell as well as the iPad.  Don't be surprised if a lot of corporations start buying this thing.  It is looks like a MAJOR home run.  I mean, the base model plus 8G additional ram, is pretty much a unit I think most will use.  It is just a really slick product even PC users will actually take very seriously.  I don't normally do this, but I think Apple engineering did a stellar job.  The only area is cost of SSD drives and memory and ability to only put 16G instead of 32G.   I think ProTools users will go for a 17inch version with 32G of memory because they have the native version of ProTools and they need the additional real estate.  Other than that. I think it is pretty much as perfect as they can get with this. I think they were right in putting in two Thunderbolt instead of one ethernet.  HDMI, great addition.

  • Reply 11 of 49
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,915member
    drblank wrote: »
    With the looks of the lead time going from 2-3 weeks early this morning to 4-5 weeks this afternoon, this product actually might sell as well as the iPad.  Don't be surprised if a lot of corporations start buying this thing.  It is looks like a MAJOR home run.  I mean, the base model plus 8G additional ram, is pretty much a unit I think most will use.  It is just a really slick product even PC users will actually take very seriously.  I don't normally do this, but I think Apple engineering did a stellar job.  The only area is cost of SSD drives and memory and ability to only put 16G instead of 32G.   I think ProTools users will go for a 17inch version with 32G of memory because they have the native version of ProTools and they need the additional real estate.  Other than that. I think it is pretty much as perfect as they can get with this. I think they were right in putting in two Thunderbolt instead of one ethernet.  HDMI, great addition.

    Hmmmm.... maybe. The lead time is interesting.

    But don't forget... Apple only sold 4 million Macs last quarter... and that's ALL Macs combined.... Air, MBP, iMac, Mini and Pro. Who knows if this new Macbook Pro will be the breakout volume seller... possibly indicated by the increased lead time.

    I don't know what corporate IT budgets look like these days... but $2,200 is still a high price to pay for a single laptop (even if it's amazing).

    I hope you're right though... so Apple will expand their line of laptops to all be thinner, optical-less, with SSD and Retina. It's definitely the direction to go.

    Corporate Mac use has been on the rise lately... this may give it even more of a boost.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,915member
    cycomiko wrote: »
    They may be purchasing more of them, but the ipad retina screen is much higher pixel density than this new mac screen.

    Good point.

    The iPad screen is very pixel dense... but a 15" screen has more than twice the area of the iPad screen.

    375
  • Reply 13 of 49
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Pretty much sums it up!
    drblank wrote: »
    First off, it doesn't surprise me.  Second off, what does that matter.  Third, i can't wait to see one in person. Forth, I hope to someday own one or maybe a 17inch if they can come out with one.
    I'd love to see one myself. As to a 17", I have mixed feelings. However as I get older those bigger screens become more appealing.
    (i honestly think they might do it, because i think the professional crowd might request it enough to warrant making it)  Apple never said they weren't going to make one and it makes sense that these types of screens take time to get the technology to the point where they can offer the larger panels at a price  point to where it is within reason to buy the finished product.
    This release is a classic example of a new technology ramp up. Focus on one niche in the product line and make sure to cover your A$$ with similar older tech. There is alway the chance or potential for glitches during such ramp ups.
    Go Apple, keep on bringing better designed products, just get the iMacs, MacMinis, MacPros and the other products continually getting better.
    Well the lack of interest in the desktop market has left a sour taste in my mouth. Apple better have something new for the desktop by the time Mountain Lion ships or my respect for the company will dip to a new low.
    I could actually see Apple coming out with a 17inch model with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage for under $5,000 and they'd still sell a bunch of them.

    Every product has its pricing limit. $5000 is to much for a base 17" laptop no matter how good the screen. My biggest disappointment with the retina machine is the lack of room for a bulk storage device to supplement the SSD. A 17" retina machine might solve that problem.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I'm not surprised at all and would suggest that the actual cost is closer to $200. Combine that with a state of the art GPU and you have a good portion of this laptops price explained. I still believe this laptop to be one of the best bargains Apple has ever offered for sale.

    It is interesting that lead times have already passed a month. It sounds like Apple underestimated the appeal of the machine, they could be back logged all year. This will be another home run in the same way iPad is.

    The technical side of me can't wait for a teardown of this machine. I want to see all the design trade offs Then I want to see benchmarks and testing of the units under load to see how they do thermally. My only real concern is that the units will thermally throttle too Agressively.

    Te only thing that really bothers me about WWDC and this debut is the lack of love for the desktop. Hopefully that is corrected before Mountain Lion debuts.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post


     

    They may be purchasing more of them, but the ipad retina screen is much higher pixel density than this new mac screen.




    264 v. 220 ppi. Much higher? Depends on what you mean by "much higher". But the ppi spec does not stand alone. You need to take into account the different distances at which one would use these devices.

  • Reply 16 of 49
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Pretty much sums it up!

    Every product has its pricing limit. $5000 is to much for a base 17" laptop no matter how good the screen. My biggest disappointment with the retina machine is the lack of room for a bulk storage device to supplement the SSD. A 17" retina machine might solve that problem.




    A fully loaded 15" MacBook Pro now approaches $4k.


     


    But let me understand this - a 17" machine might solve the problem of supplementary bulk storage?

  • Reply 17 of 49
    jonshfjonshf Posts: 90member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post





    Good point.

    The iPad screen is very pixel dense... but a 15" screen has more than twice the area of the iPad screen.

    375


    Yes but only 65% more pixels.

  • Reply 18 of 49
    jonshfjonshf Posts: 90member


    This new macbook pro is going to take the market by storm, both in business and with consumers.


     


    Other manufacturers will not be able to come out with a similar product anytime soon. You have to realize that major changes in the OS and software have to also be made for such a machine to function. If you just put a retina display on a Windows laptop, the whole gui will just shrink and essentially be unusable. I once had a 15.4" laptop with 1920 x 1200 pixels and that caused alot of squinting and looking up really close. It was kind of ok because I was younger then but probably not healthy. A retina display is 2880 x 1800 which is out of the question unless the OS handles it properly, essentially doubling in size anything that isn't designed for retina.


     


    This means that Windows manufacturers have to wait for Microsoft to come out with an OS that can handle the retina experience. Unless they've been working on it within Windows 8, this isn't going to happen in the next years. Apple will then have this market all to itself for a long time and may even patent a bunch of stuff on the way. First movers must be rewarded for innovation to continue.


     


    I'm seeing Mac sales doubling over the next year as more retina displays populate their product line.

  • Reply 19 of 49
    mauszmausz Posts: 243member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jonshf View Post


    This new macbook pro is going to take the market by storm, both in business and with consumers.


     


    This means that Windows manufacturers have to wait for Microsoft to come out with an OS that can handle the retina experience. Unless they've been working on it within Windows 8, this isn't going to happen in the next years. Apple will then have this market all to itself for a long time and may even patent a bunch of stuff on the way. First movers must be rewarded for innovation to continue.


     


    I'm seeing Mac sales doubling over the next year as more retina displays populate their product line.



     


    Tried the dpi settings on windows 7 ? It's not flawless but it works.


     


    I do not see this new macbook pro taking the business market by storm, as business have other demands, like physical ethernet connections, removable memory/storage, and in most cases a requirement for windows within their complete infrastructure.

  • Reply 20 of 49
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    mausz wrote: »
    Tried the dpi settings on windows 7 ? It's not flawless but it works.

    Really? Which Windows 7 machine do you have which supports the same DPI as the MBP Retina? (Hint - there isn't one). Or are you talking about running Windows 7 in Boot Camp? If so, you just negated your argument below.
    mausz wrote: »
    I do not see this new macbook pro taking the business market by storm, as business have other demands, like physical ethernet connections, removable memory/storage, and in most cases a requirement for windows within their complete infrastructure.

    Physical ethernet? A cheap adapter - which you leave connected to the Ethernet cable. When you come into the office, it doesn't matter whether you plug a cable into the Ethernet port or into the TB port - it's still one connection.

    Removable storage? I think you're confused as to how modern business works. Very few businesses require this and many even forbid removable storage devices for security reasons. Even if you need it, it's a simple external connector.

    Windows? Piece of cake. For $60 extra (plus the Windows site license which you probably already have), you can run it in Fusion or Parallels (or for free with other VMs or Boot Camp. The cost of being able to run both Windows and Mac apps is pretty small compared to the cost of the computer - and more importantly, compared to the cost of the people who are running the computer. If you add even incrementally to their capabilities or efficiencies, it pays for that difference many times over.
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