Apple recently launched the long-awaited iPhone 4. Since launching however, the company finds itself at the center of a big controversy. Pundits assert that everything Apple claims about the new Apple Retina Display for iPhone may not necessarily be true.
Apple’s touted the display functionality boasts four times the amount of pixel coverage, more than the current iPhone version, 3GS. Apple claims the new Retina Display has a resolution of 960×640, 326 pixels per inch. As always, it uses-Plane Switching/ IPS in order for images to be rendered.
Here’s the kicker: CEO Steve Jobs told the press the new display is superior to that of the human retina itself, stating human retinal capacity is 300 pixels per inch from a 10 to 12 inch distance away. Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has disputed the claim point-by-point in PC World, and the news of the discrepancy has since been covered worldwide. Everyone from Wired, to Fox News, to Reuters is picking up the ball and running with it. Now it’s Steve Jobs and Apple who’ve become the center of attention, and unfortunately not in the way they’d planned.
Meanwhile, Phil Plait of Discover magazine’s Bad Astronomy column responded, saying that Soneira is (mostly) incorrect. He explains the math behind pixels and resolution. Plait uses the example of an oncoming vehicle. Is that one headlight or two? Is it a car or a motorcycle? As it get closer, the lights separate and you recognize it as a car. This is because, Plait explains, over a longer line of sight the two objects closer together have a smaller angle separating them, making them harder to distinguish from each other.
As a conclusion: technically, both men are correct. Jobs may have exaggerated during the Keynote. At the same time, Soneira is exaggerates as the vast majority of users do not have perfect vision.