The Internet is abuzz with rumors of Retina-grade displays making their way onto Apple’s MacBook Pro line. Until now, these super high-res screens have been reserved for Apple’s iOS devices, but a jump to the OS X market could be huge for the company.
According to DisplaySearch Senior Analyst Richard Shim, high resolution 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch panels are actually available in the supply chain now, and itching to get that “Retina” label. I can’t say this is very surprising. From the introduction of the Retina display on the iPhone 4, it was clear that Apple was looking to reign in a new era of high-res displays. Since that time we’ve seen the Retina screen creep into the iPod line, the iPad line, and now it looks like MacBook Pros are next.
“What’s clear is that Apple’s pushing it. They’re pushing panel makers to come out with higher resolution panels because they’ve created a market demand for it, starting with their phones, now going to their tablets,” Shim went on record as saying. “Now what we’re seeing in the supply chain is that they’re going to move that to their notebooks, and it’s becoming a premium feature.”
However, with a premium feature comes a premium price tag. Upping the quality of the displays on MacBook Pros could cost Apple $100 more per machine than the company is currently paying. For example, the screen on the current entry-level 15-inch MBP costs Apple $68, but a Retina display of the same size comes in at around $160.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that customers will be forced to pay more. The price of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad didn’t jump because of the new display. Though, it’s important to note that a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro screen is pretty different from the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone. The difference between the Retina and non-Retina iPad screens is about $30.
The $100 price increase for the MacBook Pro screens might warrant a higher price for consumers. Another factor that leads many to believe a price jump is possible is the fact that there is actually an option currently available to up the resolution of the 15-inch MBP from 1,440 by 900 pixels to 1,680 by 1,050 pixels. This jump, though, costs users an extra $100.
Of course, nothing is certain yet, but this is definitely food for thought. Would you be willing to pay an extra fee to get a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display? Do you think such a fee is likely if a Retina MacBook does hit store shelves? Weigh in down below in the comments section or let me know on twitter.