After Steve Jobs described his iPhone 4's new LCD-based Retina Display as being better than AMOLED panels during the WWDC 2010 keynote this past Monday, it was pretty clear that Samsung wouldn't let the snub slide. While a Samsung spokesperson did concede that Apple's 960 x 640 display was higher resolution than their own Super AMOLED panel (as used in the Samsung Wave and Galaxy S), he also insisted that "structurally, IPS LCD technology cannot catch up with AMOLED display technology" in other ways key to image quality.
That includes contrast ratio, color reproduction and response time, Samsung claims, all of which they believe their Super AMOLED readily bests the iPhone's IPS screen on. Meanwhile, boosting resolution also has significant battery impact:
"The visibility difference is only 3 to 5 percent. But raising resolution to that level increases battery consumption by 30 percent" Samsung spokesperson
Apple did make a point of highlighting the relatively large non-user-accessible battery they've managed to squeeze into the iPhone 4, but also quoted healthy runtimes for the phone. Samsung claim Apple did not approach them to use Super AMOLED, and that even if they had, they might not have been able to provide them with enough panels to suit the market requirements. "Currently," the spokesperson confirmed, "output fails to catch up with demand."
iPhone 4 hands-on:
Samsung Wave hands-on: