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.