True HD smartphones could become more common and more affordable in the near future, with Hitachi announcing a new 4.5-inch IPS LCD panel running at 1280 x 720. The amorphous silicon-based TFT promises to be cheaper than existing high-res smartphone panels, which have generally used low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) to bypass issues with the extra wiring necessary for 720p HD and above resolutions. It's a panel fit for Apple, indeed, running at a Retina Display besting 329ppi.
The specifications, in fact, are broadly similar to the 4.5-inch LTPS 720p panel Hitachi showed off back in February (and shown in the image above), though the new panel should be more affordable. Both offer 500 cd/m2 brightness and 16.77m color support, along with 160-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles. The original LTPS panel does have a slightly better contrast ratio, however, at 1,100:1 (the new version runs at 1,000:1).
Hitachi, however, has worked on the aperture of each pixel so as to reduce the amount of backlighting required, which will hopefully add up to lower power consumption in whatever mobile devices the panels end up inside. No word on when that actual implementation will happen, though given the appetite for HD-capable smartphones of late - with the Samsung Galaxy S II HD being recently announced for the South Korean market - Hitachi is likely to want to get its more affordable panel on the market as soon as possible.