For older people (generally over 50 here I am talking about), resolution on a smartphone isn’t such a big issue but readability is.
Let me give you an example.
I always upgrade my mom’s desktop computer from time-to-time and the number one complaint she has about her computer is the resolution.
She would rather have lower resolution monitors because the text size looks bigger to her eyes, which is around 1024×800 or 1280×1024.
Anything higher than that, my mom has problems with.
And most older people will start losing their close-up vision naturally around their mid 40s, meaning having a small screen with high resolution might actually just make it harder for them to read. Actually, they don’t lose their close-up vision but their close-up vision gets better, making things appear smaller than they actually are, thus need for reading glasses.
So, does the Retina higher resolution display help older people like my mom to use the phone?
Probably not or simply no because they have hard time reading small things already.
Instead, what older people need is a larger screen with less resolution. Just as long as everything looks bigger, it’s in fact going to be perfect for older people.
Just sayin’ from experience of setting up my mom’s desktop computer for last 20 years, I know she needs a bigger screen, less resolution.
If you are over 50 and you just bought the iPhone 4, please leave comments on how it’s working out for you. Is it easier or harder to read?