How Apple Could Make the Move to 4.7" iPhone Displays

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Amidst the flurry of iPhone 6 rumors coming from KGI Securities' report last week, Ming-Chi Kuo presented the first possible screen resolution for Apple's 4.7" iPhone 6. Kuo lists it as a 1334x750 Retina display with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.

    Historically, Apple has been very cautious with resolution changes in their iOS devices. The original iPhone was launched with a 320x480 resolution. Eventually, Apple moved to 640x960 Retina display, doubling the linear resolution in each dimension. That allowed existing apps to simply be pixel-doubled to fill the entire screen. Developers could then take their time to update their apps to fully support the higher resolution display. When Apple moved from 3.5" to 4" screens in the iPhone 5, they simply added vertical resolution. This allowed existing apps to run in a letterboxed format with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

    Relative iPhone display sizes by Redtech
    Right before the 4" iPhone releases, Apple began encouraging developers to use AutoLayout in designing their apps:
    AutoLayout paves the way for apps to more easily adapt to changes in display sizes and resolution in the future.

    If Apple were to adopt a 1334x750 4.7" display as predicted by Kuo, it would preserve the same pixel density (326 ppi) as the iPhone 5s. That means that all existing user interface elements, such as icons, would be the same size but would allow for more screen space.

    Our designer found that using the exact same icons and spacing them out to fill the screen, 1334x750 pixels allows Apple to fit exactly one extra row of icons onto the iPhone home screen. This mockup shows the relative size of the 4.7" iPhone screen and how much extra room there would be using the exact same icons as on the current iPhone:

    4" home screen (left) vs 4.7" home screen (right)​

    Meanwhile, existing unoptimized apps could function in a "letterbox" style with black borders for unused screen space. TheVerge forum user Pi is exactly 3 created a mockup showing this exact scenario. This image shows how an "unoptimized" app would appear (left) compared to one that has been optimized for the 4.7" display (right):

    Mockup by Pi is exactly 3
    Given Apple's past reluctance to blur or break existing apps, it seems that this resolution choice could provide Apple and developers a reasonable upgrade path for a larger factor iPhone. Apple has acknowledged that customers want larger iPhones and all iPhone 6 rumors are pointing to a larger iPhone device this year.

    Article Link: How Apple Could Make the Move to 4.7" iPhone Displays
  2. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    I'd rather see a lower PPI than different resolutions.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    I really like that a lot. I'd love to see the screen at that resolution.
  5. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
  6. iCore24, Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014

    macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I still think they will double the iPhone 5s resolution, 326 ppi on a 4.7" is good but is not future proof. If they make a bigger iPhone in the future like 5" it would have around only 300 ppi, then will need to get ANOTHER resolution change! I talk about this in detail in a thread I made if your interested.

    The iPhone can also handle the higher resolution, just look at the Retina iPad Mini, same specs and much higher resolution.

    And they better come up with something more productive and creative to take up the extra space on the iPad and the iPhone 6 with IOS 8. The iPad just got the hand me down features the iPhone got on IOS 7, The iPad needs features that take advantage of the huge landscape,
    Split screen? Widgets? Live larger icons? SOMETHING!!!!!
  7. macrumors 68000


    Jan 30, 2008
    Maybe they should introduce on-screen buttons.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
  9. macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2011
    As an iOS developer I cant wait to have a new screen size (or two) to play about with when designing apps, the additional real-estate could pave the way for making similar UI's for both the iPhone and iPad
  10. macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2011
    New Jersey USA
    remember when the trend was to build smaller and lighter? wth? so friggin ghetto.
  11. macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    would look even worse if the graphics are stretched and blurred
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007

    A 1334x750 is stupid and doesn't make any sense. It will make app development harder since there is really no relation to any of the other devices.
  13. macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I mentioned this in a previous post: that using a 326PPI display would allow apps to retain the retina assets (they’d be slightly scaled relative to the display area). I believe this would give a 4.7-ish sized device touch targets that comply with Apple’s HID guidelines.

    Then a little AutoLayout magic - that I’d assume will improve with iOS8 ( let’s say I _hope_ it will improve :D ) - and conventional UIs would work OOTB.

    Some adaptive UI in the new OS/SDK, like the [...] nav overflow knowing it can add an additional icon to the bar, simple width expansion on canvas areas, table rows, etc.
  14. macrumors 68000

    Oct 15, 2008
    They will just double the pixels, like they did on the iphone, like they did on the iPad, like they did on the Macbook etc etc.

    Apple have always been developer friendly, and while this may seem like overkill, it will mean apps just work full screen day one, and it will put them just over the pixel density of the current 1080p screens, so it's not unfathomable.
  15. macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2013
    I wonder what the media and the "Apple is doomed" crowd will say about the screen not being "at least 1080p"

    Personally I will be happy with 1134x750

    Time will tell
  16. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Seeing this 4.7" thing, I sorely regret the time when i was rocking my Nokia 8310...
  17. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
    So you want existing resolution stretched out to 4.7" or even 5.5"?

    Top kek m8 thats horrible.
  18. macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2010
    I'd like to see Apple make auto layout mandatory for apps submitted to the App Store going forward. This layout concept of constraints and anchors has been in Windows since the early 1990s. That iOS didn't even support it until recently is just absurd, but now that it has it, it should be required. We should no longer have to worry about screen resolution fragmentation; hardware shouldn't have to continue being limited by this consideration.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2005
    Having nothing but rows of icons on your home screen made sense when the original iPhone came out because the power just wasn't there. Phones these days are desktop class machines of yesteryear and Apple needs to get you more functionality out of the home screen. People multitask and having to go to the home screen every time I want to do something else is getting very bothersome.

    The only reason I still have an iPhone is that my jailbreak gets me the functionality I want (and allows me to stick with the wonderful ecosystem). Apps like BiteSMS, activator, flipcontrolcenter, springtomize are the only reason I'm still using an iPhone!
  20. macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Problem is, 500+ ppi displays at 4.7" don't exist at this point. I think JDI's 500+ ppi display is a 5.5".
  21. D.T., Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014

    macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    From the current resolution? That would be 2272 x 1280, and on a 4.7” display would result in a ~555 PPI. I believe that would be severe overkill, from sourcing that resolution display, to the GPU, power overhead required to drive that kind of display.

    I believe the only developer friendly move Apple might make is to retain the current PPI to reduce the number of assets required - that would also help to control package sizes as well.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    What has that to do with the problem of the new size? The doubling was to upgrade the existing screens (which stayed the same size) to "Retina"-density. Or am I missing something?

    EDIT: Ah sorry - just calculated that the ratio stays the same. I'm still too used to my iPhone 4S screen ... :)
  23. macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    Just make them 1080p. Standard resolution for a lot of display panels. Developers with Android versions of their apps likely already have 1080p optimized assets.

    Then let iOS 8 letterbox and/or scale existing apps as necessary.
  24. macrumors 65832

    Apr 12, 2012
    Why do you think just doubling the pixels it is friendly? The screen size is not staying the same size nor is increasing at the same rate. This means different scaling and developers creating new assets, doesn't it?
  25. macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2008
    but Apple and all the fan boys said 3.5" is the perfect size :D

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