As Steve Jobs stood on the stage today and told us that the iPhone 4 was the biggest leap since the original release there must have been questions in the eyes of the audience. The touch screen itself had really never been implemented in a market defining way until Apple's release of the original iPhone, at least not in a way that allowed for any control over the emerging mobile department. The newest move to mark the iPhone 4 is called the Retina Display and will at the very least shift the iPhone design to a place that finally brings back the visual consistency that was lost with the original commitment to the touch screen.
The Retina Display was announced today at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. What has been seen with the Retina Display has not been a roll back of the standard 3.5 inch display, but rather the ability for a larger pixel rate that will enhance the ability of the touch screen to come in with detailed visuals that can be seen when needed. In practical terms this means that the new iPhone 4's Retina Display will have four times the pixels as before, clocking in at a 326 pixel rate. This will put the iPhone 4's Retina Display far beyond what has already been identified as optimum for reading text and has shown that the resolution needed for major types of device applications is possible. Since they are claiming the name comes from the fact that it is at a better resolution than the human eye can see we have to wonder if this is simply a show of arms.
The contrast itself is striking and may allow for gaming visuals that were never seen before on your mobile. The contrast ratio for the iPhone 4 Retina Display has been measured at 800:1, putting this quality also at four times what the iPhone 3Gs was.
What the Retina Display also shows is Apple's consistent commitment to innovation, which they seem to see as their own renewable resource. Instead of relying on AMOLED Apple developed the Retina Display on its own and this will help the iPhone 4 stand up against in the coming smart phone wars. It is not really clear if the Retina Display is a unique technology or just a unique name, but either way Apple has already impressed a room full of bloggers with the visual accuracy of the iPhone 4's touch screen. When Jobs paired the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3Gs next to each other it became clear what we were dealing with.