Is it possible, that these high resolution displays are marketed toward graphic designers and commercial illustrators? I believe, that used to be who Apple was targeting with their ads. You know... Those guys who work on those wonderful games and movies we consumers like to spend our hard-earned money on. The folks who could, in fact, take advantage of the screen real estate for their businesses? Not to say what is better, or what isn't better, that is all subjective I suppose. I imagine they could use an NEC display of some sort, but it does seem like a nice package. And visual artists have worked with poor displays since the 80s and 90s. Still, I figure having a nicer screen only continues to help in their work.
How is this at all a bad thing. The retina displays are freaking awesome for just about everything aside from gaming. I can't even look at the ipad 2 anymore since getting the new ipad. The new retina Mac looks incredible. 1080p needs to go.
Responsible for 100% of the design? Doubtful. They probably funded the design and had it designed by LG engineers. In other words outsourced it. Apple doesn't work with panels and never have AFAIK, whereas LG and Hitachi have basically been the companies leading the technology.
It's murky, but it's possible that Apple might have designed most of it. They are primarily a hardware company after all. They even have openings for display engineers on their site right now.