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New MacBook Pro Retina display will cost Apple, consumer too?

May 16, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez | This post has been corrected. Please see note below.
  • Emily Chaney and her son Roman check out an Apple MacBook Pro at a Best Buy store in Orem, Utah.
Emily Chaney and her son Roman check out an Apple MacBook Pro at a Best Buy… (George Frey / Bloomberg…)

Apple Retina displays are reportedly already in the supply channel for the rumored redesigned MacBook Pros, but they are not going to come cheap.

Retina displays for the revamped MacBook Pros could cost Apple almost $100 more per unit than the current screens it uses for its 15-inch Pro, which is the model expected to launch as early as next month.

Apple pays $68 per display on the 15-inch models now, and would pay $160 for the Retina display, according to DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Shim. For its 13-inch model, Apple would have to start shelling out $134 as opposed to the $69 it pays now. 

It's unclear whether that cost will trickle down to consumers, but it very well could.

Apple kept prices stable when it launched the Retina display on the iPhone 4 in 2010, and did so again this year with the new iPad. But the price hike for the new part on the iPad was only $30, and Apple was able to find a way to manage the cost without raising its price.

It remains to be seen how Apple will deal with the price jump, but what is clear is that the 15-inch Retina displays are ready to go.

"We're seeing it at 15.4" inches, said Shim, who spoke with CNET. "You can get it."

And the jump in quality is pretty nice. Shim said Retina display 15-inch MacBook Pros will have 200 pixels per inch and a 2,880-by-1,800 pixel resolution. The current models have a 110 PPI and 1,440-by-900 resolution.

As for the 13-inch MacBook Pros, the new models would have a 227 PPI and a 2,560-by-1,600 pixel resolution. That model currently has a PPI of 113and 1,280-by-800 resolution.

For the Record, 4:47 p.m. May 16: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the 13-inch MacBook Pro's has a 1,440-by-900 pixel resolution with 127 pixels per inch. That model's resolution is actually 1,280-by-800 pixels and a 113 PPI.

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