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Samsung jabs iPhone's Retina Display, says AMOLED wins

updated 05:20 pm EDT, Wed June 9, 2010

Samsung says iPhone 4 LCD too hungry, low-color

Samsung joined in the attacks on the iPhone 4's Retina Display with a retort in the Korean media. A spokesperson for Samsung argued that quadrupling the resolution actually had little impact on clarity, at most three to five percent, and that that it would allegedly hike the battery drain by as much as 30 percent. AMOLED is purportedly better as it doesn't need a backlight and makes up for any resolution loss in other ways, such as higher contrast with true black, more accurate colors and no limits on viewing angles.

"Structurally, [Apple's] IPS LCD technology cannot catch up with AMOLED display technology," the representative told the Korean Herald.

The iPhone 4 panel is still considered one of the most advanced displays both for its "invisible pixel" effect and for overcoming most of the perceived drawbacks of LCD, covering a very wide color gamut and touting much wider viewing angles than the often cheap LCDs used in other phones. Samsung's official also omitted well-known drawbacks of AMOLEDs, including their high relative cost and poor visibility outdoors. The Galaxy S may solve this by using a Super AMOLED screen less vulnerable to the effect, but isn't completely immune.

The spokesperson did also partly confirm rumors and said an existing AMOLED supply shortage may have dissuaded Apple from using the technique in the iPhone 4, although he denied that Apple had reached out to Samsung for the option. Prior reports had the iPhone using LCDs because Samsung couldn't make enough AMOLEDs to match Apple's needed production levels.

Also, Apple's $500 million contract with LG Display would likely discourage the use of another contractor for screens, although the deal wasn't struck exclusively for iPhones.

By Electronista Staff


  1. DanielSw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009


    This is tacit recognition of iPhone 4's impact on

    Why bother arguing tech specs when what's obviously more important is how well the iPhone sells?

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    For getting the Reader function working on this site!

  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004


    AMOLED is over-hyped

    You can't use them outside, let alone direct sunlight, and as mentioned, they are difficult and expensive to produce. Someday, they may be the best option, but until they solve these two problems, they will be relegated to interesting also-ran status.

    Until there is a a mass-produced panel that matches the iPhone 4 resolution, with sunlight readability, then the AMOLED manufacturers have no room to talk.

    -- Len

  1. solefald

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008


    samsung can jab at iphone at they want,

    because at the end of the day consumers chose what they like better - an iPhone.

  1. stefbystef

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001


    If you ask me

    I am satisfied with the battery life of my 3GS. I have to charge it every night, but I never used a mobile phone so often and in so many different ways. Eventually, battery life will increase. I had problems with my old Sony Erricson having to charge the battery every day, and I rarely used it, but I had to accept it as it was "normal" a few years ago. Eventually solar power will slowly show up as a power source. Pixel density will get denser. Things are going to change and so will topics on discussion forums. I am looking forward to the future of things and I am happy with what I have now.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Still half true

    I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of an AMOLED screen and an LCD one in direct sunlight, but while AMOLEDs have improved, most reviews still say that they fare poorly. This would, I'd guess, be true of pretty much any emissive technology like AMOLED.

    There's also the fact that while AMOLEDs have great brightness and viewing angle, they tend to be oversaturated and from a pure color fidelity standpoint are inferior to IPS panels, at least in the limited comparisons I've seen.

    Not saying that the technology isn't good, and that it doesn't have a place, I'm just skeptical that it's anywhere near that cut-and-dried.

    On phones with more creative AMOLED sub-pixel geometry the text clarity is also reduced, although pictures look great.

  1. chas_m



    You know ...

    Steve didn't actually trash or otherwise say ANYTHING bad about AMOLEDs ... just that they weren't quite ready yet, at least for the iPhone 4.

    He was probably referring (as he usually does) to the overall experience, but he might also have been talking about the added cost, the shortage of supply or the other issues mentioned above. He certainly didn't rule out using AMOLED in future products as (and if) the technology matures.

    Why these other companies feel the need to try and disparage Jobs' completely-true-and-accurate remarks I will leave as an exercise for the viewer.

  1. bonaccij

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003


    Defensive much?

    Wow Sammy, calm down! Nobody's trashing your tech! But, you know, the proof is in the pudding! What difference do ANY of these specs make if people PERCEIVE (and that really is the key here) that Apple has the better display?


    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2007


    re: LenE

    I';m pretty sure you also can't use the iphone in direct sunlight.

    And dumb arse how would you know what the new iphone 4 screen looks like and whether it can be used in direct sunlight? Grow a brain and stop talking s*** until you've experienced it yourself.

    Until then AMOLED is still king in display

  1. grenstne

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2010


    Some Partner

    If I remember correctly, Samsung manufactures the A4 chip for Apple. With such an important part, you would think Samsung would be more circumspect in what they say about the product.

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