Production is underway for a Retina display targeted at a more mainstream MacBook Pro, CNET has learned.
Apple's Retina display tech will arrive on a more affordable MacBook Pro.
Production has begun of a 2560x1600 pixel density display that will land on a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim has told CNET.
"The supply chain indications are that it's for a MacBook Pro 13.3 — not a MacBook Air," said Shim.
Displays are being made by Samsung, LGD and Sharp, he said.
Shim said that production volume is expected to be substantially higher out of the gate compared to the current 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
"With 15.4, it's production of a few hundred thousand units versus 1 to 2 million for the 13.3," he said. That 13.3-inch production began in the third quarter.
He also said that the volume depends on production yield rates. "It depends on how the yield rates turn out. If the yield rates are really good and they're at 70, 80, 90 per cent, then they'll probably be in the million-and-a-half range," he said.
Shim also touched on the differences between the display suppliers Samsung and LGD. "With Samsung, if you look at the new [Retina] iPad, they had fewer issues reaching the higher-resolution requests from Apple. They were the first vendor to get to volume with that panel."
Apple's Retina displays cram an astounding number of pixels into a relatively small area. The current 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Retina boasts an IPS display with 2880x1800 pixel density, which is far more than any PC laptop maker can deliver at the screen size.
Probably one of the biggest draws of the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro will be price, likely significantly below the AU$2499 starting price for the 15.4-inch model. And, of course, weight: a 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a thinner chassis could be a lot more portable than its 15.4-inch cousin.
With production starting now, that could mean the arrival of a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro before November.