“With much bruhaha, Steve Jobs and Apple revealed the new iPhone 4 yesterday. Among other features, Jobs said it has higher resolution than older models; the pixels are smaller, making the display look smoother,” Phil Plait, Ph.D. reports for Discover Magazine’s “Bad Astronomy” blog. “To characterize this, as quoted at Wired.com, Jobs said, ‘It turns out there’s a magic number right around 300 pixels per inch, that when you hold something around to 10 to 12 inches away from your eyes, is the limit of the human retina to differentiate the pixels.'”
“In other words, at 12 inches from the eye, Jobs claims, the pixels on the new iPhone are so small that they exceed your eye’s ability to detect them,” Plait writes. “Pictures at that resolution are smooth and continuous, and not pixellated.”
“However, a display expert has disputed this. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Industries, was quoted both in that Wired article and on PC Mag (and other sites as well) saying that the claims by Jobs are something of an exaggeration: ‘It is reasonably close to being a perfect display, but Steve pushed it a little too far,'” Plait reports.
“This prompted the Wired article editors to give it the headline ‘iPhone 4’s ‘Retina’ Display Claims Are False Marketing.'” As it happens, I know a thing or two about resolution as well, having spent a few years calibrating a camera on board Hubble,” Plait reports. “Having looked this over, I disagree with the Wired headline strongly, and mildly disagree with Soneira.”
Plait reports, “The headline used by Wired.com was clearly incorrect; Jobs wasn’t falsely advertising the iPhone’s capabilities at all. I’ll note that I like Wired magazine quite a bit, and what we have here is most likely just an overzealous editor. But a lot of people read the headlines and it taints their view; someone reading that article may be more likely to think Jobs, once again, has overblown a product to excite people. He didn’t.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone 4’s Retnia display has to be seen to be appreciated. It truly is stunning and elicits gasps when first seen. No amount of FUD can obscure its clarity.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “jax44” for the heads up.]