By: Gigaom
June 08, 2012 at 10:19 AM EDT
How much will you pay for a Mac Retina Display option?
Based on an app in the Mac App Store gaining "Retina graphics" support, it appears that Apple will introduce higher-resolution Mac hardware next week. But the costly displays are unlikely to be in base models. How much would you pay for a Retina Display option?

New Mac hardware is widely expected to launch next week when Apple takes the stage at its WWDC event in San Francisco. Some are calling for Apple’s computers to gain a Retina Display, first made famous by the iPhone 4 and, more recently, the new iPad. It’s looking likely that some Macs will get a super high-resolution screen based on an app update in the Mac App Store.

The software first noted by The Next Web providing the hint of upcoming, higher-resolution screens is called Folder Watch and, according to what’s new in the Mac App Store, now supports “Retina graphics.” This is a Mac app, not one for iOS, so it leaves much less doubt that Retina Display Macs will appear next week. However, I’m not expecting this to be a base feature, but an option, which is very different from Apple’s iOS approach.

Apple’s standard operating procedure is to generally keep its hardware prices the same from year to year, but to improve it. Surely a Retina Display screen is an improvement, but not one we’ll see across the entire model line like we do with its mobile products.

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Adding such a costly component to every Mac model would eat into Apple’s profit margin. Instead, I suspect the Retina Display will be an add-on option to base models. If so, Apple’s Retina Display Macs are finally arriving, but not everyone will have them, in contrast to the iPhone and iPad where every new purchase includes the high-resolution screen.

It would be nice if I were wrong and all new Mac hardware gained the better screens at no extra cost over last year’s model. I plan to replace my MacBook Air, so I’d really love to be wrong, in fact! We’ll see next week. Assuming I’m right, however, I’m wondering what the boosted pixel count is worth to you. I’m likely in if the cost is $300 or less. Let us know in the poll what you’d be willing to spend for this option!

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