MacBook Pro

The iPad might not be the only Apple product to get a gorgeous new Retina Display upgrade.

The latest developer release of Apple’s operating system OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion indicated that some Mac computers will upgraded with Retina Displays. The dev release hints at support for double-sized graphics within some OS X applications, which would make them ready for a higher-resolution display, according to an Ars Technica report.

For those not privy to why the Retina Display is a big deal, then let me explain: It’s Apple’s marketing term for a high-density pixel screen that displays images better than the human eye can perceive. Just like with the new iPad, a Retina Display on a Mac would put your HDTV to shame, and would also allow the macs to support full 1080p HD video.

However, finding double-sized image support in apps isn’t exactly new. For instance, Apple’s beta version of its new native instant messaging application Messages also contained support for high-resolution images.

More realistically, Apple could be trying to future-proof its developer community. The company’s strategy is leaning towards making the experience within OS X and its mobile operating system iOS more similar. In doing so, Apple may try to guide developers to create one application that can be optimized for whatever device its used on. (Obviously, that might not be true for all applications, but certainly for simple apps such as Twitter’s desktop client).

The other problem with higher-res displays on PCs is that they also make text look tiny. But given that Apple was able to squeeze a Retina Display into the new iPad without changing its text formatting, the company can likely optimize its fonts for larger resolutions.

If Macs do gain a pretty new Retina Display, we’re likely to see them when Mountain Lion is released to the public this summer. As for which Macs will get the upgraded screen, I wouldn’t bet on anything larger than 15-inches. That cancels out all iMacs and the 17-inch Macbook Pro.

My guess is that Apple will probably put a Retina Display on the Macbook Air first, or perhaps to an upgraded slimmer 13- and 15-inch line of Macbook Pros.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.