17 March 2013Apple:
The Retina display on iPhone ushered in the era of super-high-resolution displays. Its pixel density is so high, your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels. The images and words are amazingly vivid and crisp. Everything just looks so real. In fact, once you see a Retina display, you’re never satisfied with anything less. Yet it remains a feature found only on iPhone and other Apple products.
This latest piece of marketing from Apple has sprouted a lot of controversy, probably more than it deserves. I don’t want to get into the “defensive/offensive” argument, but I do want to criticise the page for its disingenuity on the display section.
Citing the Retina Display as an exclusive feature in the market is simply incorrect.1 Granted, it took the rest of the phone market significant time to catch up with the iPhone 4’s truly-breakthrough display. However, that time has passed and superior pixel density isn’t an advantage for the iPhone today. All of the higher-end Android phones in 2012 had screens with densities above 300+ PPI. Since the iPhone 5 launched this bar has gone even higher; the Droid DNA was released in December and touts a 440 PPI display.
It is debatable whether there are real-world effective advantages to a display with 400 PPI versus a display with 326 PPI. However, that is parallel to the point at hand. Apple’s site clearly states that the feature is “found only on iPhone and other Apple products” and this is just not true.
1 Of course, technically, the trademark remains exclusive to Apple devices.