April 16, 2012

The 4-inch iPhone

Dan Provost:

“I see these as Apple’s three feasible options: keep the screen as is, bump to 16:9 but retain a 326dpi resolution, or increase the screen size while maintaing the 960x640 resolution. I hope they go with option 3, but chairman Gruber makes methinks option 2 is more likely. ”

(Via marco.org.)

Dan posts a lucid argument against the idea of a 16:9 next-gen iPhone display.

If it were my choice, I'd go with the pixel-added 16:9 version (option 2) and make the extra real estate open to notifications and other "special" programmable functions.

Video would be rendered in full 16:9 using the additional space. Older apps would continue to use the same 3:2 space as previous iPhones. Developers would have the option of making their new and updated apps use of the added space, or not, through new iOS API calls.

I don't believe Apple will backtrack on their vaunted Retina display by stretching the old pixel count to a larger LCD. That would be option 3, and it does nothing but join the bigger-is-better crowd that has sprung up in the Android hardware community. Apple design changes are always in the service of new or enhanced functionality, and a stretched display is neither.